Polar Bear's Teeth Removed from English Teenager's Head After Attack

Posted Aug 8th 2011 09:00 AMUpdated Aug 8th 2011 02:54 PM




A member of a British camping party that was attacked by a polar bear in northern Norway on Friday underwent a procedure on Sunday to remove the animal's teeth from his fractured skull.

The polar bear ripped open a tent shared by three teenage boys, killed Eton student Horatio Chapple and severely wounded Patrick Flinders when it scratched then bit his head.

According to The Independent, Flinders slowed the attack when he punched the bear in the nose, but not before the third tentmate, Scott Bennell-Smith, also suffered head injuries. A fourth boy was also attacked.

The bear itself was killed when the expedition leader, Michael "Spike" Reid, heard screams, saw the animal and shot it dead.

The teens were taking part in a British Schools Exploring Society trip and were camped on the Von Post glacier, which hosts around 30,000 adventurers annually, when the attack occurred.

After the attack, Kieran Mulvaney, author of "The Great White Bear: A Natural & Unnatural History of Polar Bears," was quick to point out that such incidents are rare and frequently the product of extenuating circumstances, such as the bear being starved. Mulvaney pointed out that as sea-ice, long a major habitat for the bears, melt, the potential for adventure travelers and bears to come face to face would likely increase.

Tributes Paid to Polar Bear Attack Victim

Filed Under: Adventure Travel, News

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Sooner or later, a decision must be made about the future of mankind. If we choose to continue expanding, we must accept that animals and nature will bear the burden of that imposition. Species are dying at an alarming rate and mankind just keeps reproducing. At some point in the future, we (mankind) must decide what our role on this planet is. If we decide to expand other life forms into extinction, then at least we have made a choice and will have to live with it. Once can only hope that the planet is large enough for all species and that man can reign in his need to perpetuate himself/herself.

That said, my condolences to the children in this attack and to the families that suffer from the loss of one of its members. As much as I love nature, killing the bear was the right measure. The animal would have killed all four boys, and finding humans an easy prey, would have likely sought out more. I hope the animal was dispatched quickly and painlessly and that we can learn to mitigate our encounters with nature so that a more beneficial outcome is the result. There is room for all of us on this planet, is mankind makes the decision to allow it, and perpetuate it.

September 09 2011 at 5:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

6 Billion Humans.... A few hundred Polar Bears. Wonder why is the ratio so uneven

August 09 2011 at 12:01 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

A billion humans....a few hundred polar bears.

August 09 2011 at 12:00 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Why were they there.it's the bears territory, now this magnificent animal is dead, l am so so sorry for the family of the boy who died, and the boys who were so chewed up. THEY ARE BOYS!!!!!!! ON A SCHOOL OUTING, FROM WHAT l UNDERSTAND. with 1 camp leader. my God people stay out of wild Animal Turf"it is there home, same thing in Alaska, idiot Palin wanted to pay hunters, to shoot wolves (my fav creature) from planes, l say start with her...................

August 08 2011 at 9:26 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

"Another beautiful animal slaughtered because people want to invade it's territory."................ I guess the sum of your knowledge is the Nat Geo channel. They kill helpless seals for a living. So, do you weep at night over the seals - they, too, are beautiful creatures. Do you weep over the beautiful silver fish the seals and bears eat? Why is beautiful at all important. Go watch "Grizzly Man" and then repost. I'd like to see if your opinion changes.

August 08 2011 at 8:01 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to wilkesgm's comment

They have to kill seals they dont get they food handed on a platter like we go

August 09 2011 at 12:17 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

I fee sorry for the dead and injured , so the lessen is don't sleep near wild animals I mean really !

August 08 2011 at 8:01 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Mr Smith phrased it best in "MATRYX" we are spreading like a virus and invading spaces that should
be left to their natural inhabitants. Still sucks for the boys family though.

August 08 2011 at 7:54 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to BOB's comment

Bob, Its "Matrix" and I agree with you.

August 09 2011 at 3:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Ah, yes...polar bears are innocent enough. Man is behind their recent attacks because
he has affected the upper atmosphere and hence we are experiencing global warming.
Interesting; however, some paleoclimatological data strongly indicates such phenomena
as global warming and global cooling have been normat patterns for eons. Maybe
it is....Bush's fault? ;-)

August 08 2011 at 7:35 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

OK People listen up. If YOU go where the bears are, you have a good chance of being attacked. The bears don't want you near their homes. Stupid is as stupid does.

August 08 2011 at 7:31 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
lance pratt

I was born and raised in Montana. Two Bear Species dominate as top Quadroped Predators, Ursus Americanun, Ursus Arctos Horriblis. Black Bear, often Brown and the Grizzly....

People, as a rule are not on Ursus Menu. Unusual circumstances of the Ursus attacking humans, include Sows defending their young, injury, or hunger. Any Ursus who would pull people out of tents is in a state of stress, for whatever reason or reasons.

Ursus Maritimus, Polar Bear is the exception. Their behavior in taking prey, including humans is well documented.

Regarding this Incident....When you enter the domain of Ursus Maritimus, you ARE a menu item...You pay your money and take your chances..

Captain Lance...

August 08 2011 at 7:16 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to lance pratt's comment

Lance l agree, and the polar bear is the most fierce of all Bears, also well documented, you won't see them in a circus, because they cannot and will not be trained. they are like the Tiger. the only Big Cat, who will kill just for the sake of killing, not because they are hungry...............but because they can!!!!! l love all Animals l held a Tiger (baby of course lol) once and went in an encloser with 3 wolves. but you do not turn your back on them. BECAUSE A WILD ANIMAL, IS JUST THAT! WILD.

August 08 2011 at 9:34 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply