Polar Bear attacks Kayaker in Arctic

-- Last Updated: Aug-04-10 4:27 PM EST --

Polar bear attacks camper in his tent and drags him 130ft by his head.

A terrified camper was attacked in his tent by a polar bear and dragged by his head across 130ft of rocks and ice.

Sebastian Plur Nilssen, 22, was resting during a kayak expedition around the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard when the bear struck.

As Nilssen was carried off screaming, his expedition partner, Ludvig Fjeld, 22, grabbed a rifle and fired four shots, killing the bear.

A rescue helicopter arrived at the scene within two hours.

Nilssen, from Fredrikstad, Norway, remained conscious throughout the ordeal last Thursday.

He was airlifted to a hospital, where he underwent surgery on lacerations to his chest, head and neck.

A hospital spokeswoman said his injuries were not life-threatening.

Svalbard officials said the quick actions of Fjeld, from Sarpsborg, Norway, almost certainly saved the life of his colleague.

The two men had previously said they were aware there could be 'a whole lot' of polar bears in Svalbard but hoped to avoid using firearms to keep them at bay.

It remains unclear why the polar bear went on the attack, with some experts speculating that it was either hungry or merely curious.
Polar bears are protected under Norway's strict conservation laws and are allowed to be shot only in self-defence. Experts say it is getting harder for polar bears to find food in the area.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1299362/Polar-bear-attacks-camper-tent-drags-130ft-head.html#ixzz0vZmkuAeq

Here is more information on the 7-29-10 attack with photos.

It’s what I’ve been saying, those who say that firearms have no place in wilderness tripping are dellusional. Whether two-legged or four-legged, there are real threats and everyone is responsible for their own defense.

I totally agree and nvere leave home without mine.

Your statement…
“everyone is responsible for their own defense”

What does that mean? That we have to carry a gun because YOU feel a threat, whether WE feel it or not?

I assess threats on my own, and I’ll carry a gun if I decide I need to. But I don’t have any responsibility to live your paranoia.

Who regularly paddles with
polar bears?

Firearms and training for sure in polar bear territory. But how many of us do that at ALL?

Most of us deal with black bears if we are lucky. Humans are a bigger threat.

Okay then…
Take the spare out of your trunk and throw your fire extinguishers outside. Get rid of your battery charger & ditch your spare paddle in your kayak…

After all why be paranoid?

Paddle easy,


What did I just say? I evaluate my
risk and I decide what to do about it. I don’t let other individuals specify what I have to do about risks.

So I am not under any obligation to ditch safety equipment I may see as useful just because I don’t see a need for a gun in the average US campground. That’s what beaverjack is implying. Your reasoning by analogy wasn’t.

I carry a pistol in a campground because
I carry it EVERYWHERE else & don’t see wasting time & energy removing it just to roll into a campground.

I don’t carry a gun due to paranoia, I carry cause it is my right to just as it is your right to “not to”. Half of the time I forget I even have it on me. Therefor, if I don’t “need” it, it doesn’t exist. But in the “off chance” that I do need it, it is right there.

Not paranoia, just preparedness.

Paddle easy,


You think that paranoid people feel
paranoid? You may think as you say you do, but my career as a psychologist involved evaluating people for danger much of the time, and some of the most paranoid and delusional people I knew were totally comfortable in their environments.

I had guns when I was a teen. A friend has many guns, lets me shoot them, but rarely “carries.” You are carrying for something that apparently happens very rarely. I can’t recall any situation in my approximately 50 years of outdoor experience where I was worse off for not having a gun. So why do I have people like beaverjack implying that I am somehow stupid if I don’t carry? Let him make his own decisions and live his own life. Experience shows that I am not worse off without a gun.

I carry jumper cables because I have had occasion to use them. I no longer carry a fire extinguisher because in 50 years I have never needed one, and observation suggests that people who have tried to use them have not achieved much. That’s similar to my impression about people who legally carry. When they do try to use their guns, they usually don’t accomplish anything, and risk getting shot. Maybe there are news sources that no one but gun carriers see?

I’ll pack
my 44mag or, better yet, my 45/70 guide gun in bear country.


– Last Updated: Aug-12-10 6:06 AM EST –

aren't as safe asy you think. Are you a young pup or just naive? I've got campground stories that would curl your hair. No telling who is going to show up at a campground. And oh yes, there's the 3 bear attacks in two campgrounds in Montana just last month. Being armed is personal responsibility, not paranoia. You may not share my sense of responsibility, but people used to feel the same way about wearing seat belts. Like wearing a seat belt, it only takes once to make you wish you had thought differently. I know there's two campers from Montana that understand what I just said, and one dead one who doesn't understand anything anymore.

Young pup? At 67? You clearly want
to see threats everywhere so you can carry and feel “responsible.”

I was wearing seatbelts, and motorcycle helmets, before I ever had accidents, because I knew the odds were that I, personally, would need them. And I did.

I haven’t been gun totin’ my whole life because I knew the odds were high that I never would need one, and I haven’t. Never.

You judge your own risks, and make your own decisions. Don’t tell me what I have to do to be “responsible.” When the whole country thinks like you, the hospitals will never be able to deal with the carnage.

another polar bear attack
This is the low tech way to defend yourself.


I don’t think he was saying that
merely defending his choice to carry a firearm for his self-defense.

I don’t carry one myself, so I’m not trying to defend carrying them, but I don’t think he was saying you or I SHOULD carry them and are wrong not to, only that his choice is a reasonable one.

There are other ways to defend yourself
safety in numbers is one. Bad people aren’t as likely to target a group of 4 or 5 as they are 1 or 2. Being aware of your surroundings, seeing and avoiding trouble are extremely important. The best way to win a confrontation is to avoid it. Sun Tzu said that. Or maybe Mister Rogers.

Sure, there are instances where a gun would be really handy, even necessary. There are also situations where an automated defibrillator would be really handy, even necessary. But you can’t bring everything with you. Heck, there might be situations where yes, you have a handgun, but you’re facing a group of people who have automatic weapons, and that handgun won’t be enough. Fortunately, all of these situations, the defibrillator, the guys with the automatic weapons, even situations where a revolver would be the best way to get yo out of the jam, are all really, really uncommon. So you prepare for the more common possibilities, with things like first aid kits, extra clothing, a backup compass, and take your chances with the really unlikely problems. Nothing wrong with that.

Very few people have…
“Automatic weapons”. If they do, they are either in gangs in “inner cities” (and more than likely don’t know how to use them) or in drug cartels. OR legally own them. So either way, the chances of being “out-gunned” in a campground prove a handgun a suitable partner.

Do not confuse “automatic” (machine guns) with “semi-automatic” (ANY self loading weapon). 95% of handguns are “semi-auto”, continuously mis-described as “automatic”.

Paddle easy,


Well all this talk about guns and bears, leads me to the conclusion that I will begin to carry a large gun to shoot myself if I wake up with a grizzly or polar bear in my tent!!! :slight_smile:

You make jokes…
But it may be the better way to go, “IF” the circumstance were to become a reality.

Paddle easy,


No, I wasn’t confusing

– Last Updated: Aug-17-10 11:27 AM EST –

Auto and semiauto, believe me, I know the difference. Yes, very few people have automatic weapons, and so while it is possible that you could run into someone with automatic weapons, it is highly improbable. That was my whole point, which you seem to have missed. A person with a revolver or a semiauto would not be ideally prepared to deal with people who have automatic weapons, but because the possibility of running into people with automatics is so remote, a person who goes into the wilderness unequipped for that confrontation is not irresponsible. Similarly, while an event that might require a firearm and no other means of avoiding injury is possible, it is only slightly more probable than running into people with automatic weapons. Therefore, while I respect your choice to carry firearms, there is nothing irresponsible about the choice not to carry firearms. In 2007, 273 million people visited national parks, and there were only 11 deaths were investigated in the park system. One was a suicide, one was a DUI, and one was a stabbing in a drunken brawl.

USA and Canada combined have an average of just over 5 mountain lion attacks a year, with an average of less than one death a year.

In North America, there have been 30 fatal bear attacks from 2000 to this summer. That's less than 3 fatalities a year.

You know what kills far more people in the backcountry every year than wildlife attacks and crime COMBINED? Gravity. Falls kill more people than anything else. And if they don't kill, you, they can paralyze you. I don't know anyone who was attacked by an animal or a human in the wild, but my high school buddy's sister is in a wheelchair after breaking her neck while hiking. Want to know what else kills WAY WAY more people than human or animal attacks? Drowning. Want to know another one that kills WAY, WAY more people than animal or human attacks? Heart attacks. Our own pnet poster, Jerry Fletcher, aka yak.canfish died of a heart attack while out paddling.

So all you gun toters out there who are insinuating that those who don't pack heat aren't taking responsibility for their safety, I have a question for you: How many of you are carrying c-collars and backboards to deal with falls? How many of you are carrying Automated External Defibrillators to deal with drowning and heart attacks? So carry guns if you like, but don't try to tell us it is about some rational desire to be prepared for likely emergencies. Just own that it is an emotional desire to carry a gun.

"In North America, there have been 30 fatal bear attacks from 2000 to this summer… "

Do you happen to know how many of those were black bears? I’m assuming that most of those were brown bears but what do I know?

I have run into one brown bear that fortunately went the opposite direction and my tent has a modest tear from a black bear that was just sniffing around for a cheap treat. There was nothing in the tent at the time, otherwise that tent would be history:)

BTW, gravity may kill more humans that bears/zombies/humans but without it all your gear would just float away…