Thursday, February 22, 2018

Polar Bear Attack Stopped with Three Shots from .44 Magnum Revolver

On Thursday, 19 March, 2015, a woman with a .44 magnum stopped a polar bear from attacking Jakub Moravec, 37, in the Svalbard archipelago. Polar bear attacks are expected there, and tourists are not allowed unless they carry a high powered firearm. In this case, the rifles were left outside the tents, but inside the protective alarm wire. The armed woman, mother of Zuzanna Hakova, shot the bear three times with the revolver.

They were lucky to be alive after a polar bear broke into their tent on a remote Norwegian island and tried to maul them.

But tourists who shot the animal three times with a revolver have now been fined nearly £800 by the local government - because they failed to put a member of their group on “polar bear watch.”

The group, from the Czech Republic, were travelling in the Svalbard archipelago when they were attacked by the bear during the night.

Jakub Moravec, 37, said he awoke to find it “standing over him” in his tent.

“It went straight to my head. Luckily my colleague shot it,” he told local radio NRK shortly after the incident in March.

Zuzanna Hakova, who was part of the same tour group, said her mother then shot the bear three times with a revolver and it fled.

An earlier account mentioned gunfire, but did not mention that a revolver was the firearm used. The Czech Republic is one of the most gun friendly countries in Europe. The local publication in Svalbard did a better job on reporting details. From
The Governor of Svalbard is continuing to keep some details under wraps about the confrontation between a group of six Czech tourists and a two-year-old polar bear last Thursday. One man suffered slight injures after the animal, which later had to be euthanized, entered the tent camp at Fredheim early in the morning.

What is known:
• 5:30 a.m. (approx.): The bear entered the campsite without triggering the flare alarm system set up around the two tents. It appears the group did not have a guard watching for polar bears at the time. Jakub Moravec, 37, the injured man, said he was dragged out of the tent and another person in the group fired three shots with a .44 Magnum at the animal. The bear subsequently fled.
The local account mentions the wounded bear had to be euthanized by local authorities. The polar bear was wounded in the neck and body by the revolver shots and was leaving a blood trail when the authorities dispatched it.

The attack appears to have been a predatory one. Predatory attacks are often slower and the bears more willing to flee than territorial or sow with cub attacks. If bears suffered significant harm each time they predated on other large animals, they would not survive long. Bears often test unfamiliar prey to determine if the prey is a significant danger.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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