17 Year-Old British Tourist Killed In Polar Bear Attack

17 Year-Old British Tourist Killed In Polar Bear Attack

A polar bear has killed one person and seriously injured four others from a British tour group visiting the Arctic.

Horatio Chapple, a student at Eton College, was with a party of 12 on the Norwegian island of Svalbard when the bear attacked, mauling the 17-year-old to death and injuring trip leaders Michael Reid and Andrew Ruck, and teenagers Patrick Flinders, 16, and Scott Smith, 17.

The victims, who were travelling with the British Schools Expedition Society, had set camp 25 miles from the town of Longyearbyen, when the attack occurred. The district governor's office said they received an emergency satellite call for help from near the Von Post glacier at 7.30am, local time. It is believed they shot the polar bear dead before the call.

BSES chairman Edward Watson said the society had been in touch with the family of the 17-year-old victim and had offered "our utmost sympathy".

He said: "Horatio was a fine young man, hoping to go on to read medicine after school. By all accounts he would've made an excellent doctor."

Posting on Twitter, Geoff Riley, head of teaching and learning technologies at the school, said his thoughts and prayers were with his family.

The Svalbard islands are famous for being a polar bear habitat. The archipelago is halfway between Norway's mainland and the North Pole. Polar bears are one of the largest land carnivores in the world, reaching up to 8ft and weighing 125st.

The four injured men have been flown to Tromsoe in mainland Norway for treatment. They suffered head injuries but are now stable, Norwegian authorities told the BBC. The Foreign Office said the British ambassador was leading a consular team to Tromsoe to provide assistance to the expedition group.


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