UK

Polar Bear Bodyguard Wanted In Svalbard Islands

17/05/2013 11:43 BST

Want a job in the great outdoors? You'll need mad firearms skills, 20-20 vision, a loud voice and a suitcase full of very warm clothes. And an appreciation for polar bears.

The governor’s office on the Svalbard Islands, an Arctic Circle archipelago sandwiched between Norway and the North Pole need a body guard for its research teams. Specifically, a body guard who can tackle polar bears.

There are believed to be around 3,000 polar bears living on the island, that's 600 more bears than there are humans living in freezing termperatures.

svalbard polar

A polar bear on the Svalbard Islands, in the Arctic Circle

The role begins on July 8, when temperatures are a balmy 0 - 6°C, according to the job advert, reported in Time magazine.

Helge Solli from the governor’s office says animal lovers need not be put off by the guard duties, the successful candidate likely won’t have to use a gun “just as long as they have a loud voice” to scare off any bears.

"Flare guns can also be very effective, as well as banging together pots and pans to make a lot of sound," Guri Tveito, Svalbard's head of department for environment protection, told the Guardian.

But if needs must, you have to be well prepared to strike hard, the bears have been know to kill humans, a advice booklet from the Norse Polar Institute warns: "Polar bears are large and formidable, and a wounded bear is a “worst-case scenario”.

"Human fatalities have occurred in Svalbard when people have defended themselves against polar bears with weapons of insufficient calibre. Make sure that you are familiar with your weapon to the point where you can aim it and operate it under stress.

"If an aggressive bear attacks with no sign of being scared away by warning shots, shoot with the aim to kill. This is a last resort. Aim for the chest, below the head, either from the front or the side.

"Do not attempt a shot in the head because the skull of polar bears is tough and well protected by heavy muscles, and the vulnerable area is surprisingly small even on a big bear.

"Keep shooting until the bear lies still, and do not approach it until you are sure it is dead. Even then approach the bear from behind. Do not move the bear or remove anything from the scene. Contact the Governor of Svalbard immediately."