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Several campers attacked in unrelated polar bear and black bear attacks

by Timothy Martinez Jr.

Two separate bear attacks this week that resulted in one death and multiple injuries highlight the importance of camping with the uttermost vigilance and caution.

The most recent attack took place Friday on a glacial island 400 miles north of Norway where a polar bear killed a British teenager and seriously injured four others, according to the Washington Post.

Polar bear deaths are exceedingly rare, but officials say the polar bear was most likely looking for food at the campsite of about 80 campers. The area is known to have polar bears and everyone who camps there is suggested to have a weapon readily available and put up trip wires around their site to make sure they’re not disturbed.

The polar bear was shot and killed.

Another unrelated encounter took place Wednesday morning when a black bear entered a campsite, pulled on a sleeping bag and knocked down a tent, according to a press release from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

The original story had two pre-teens injured from the attack, but officials have now said it was a wrong presumption and the injuries took place before the camping trip.

A wildlife technician managed to shoot the bear, but it escaped into the woods where it’s being tracked.

These two encounters most likely took place because the bears were in search of food. As food becomes scarce and humans continue to impede on bears’ natural habits, the likelihood of a chance meeting with a bear while camping increases exponentially.

While it’s always tragic when something happens to campers, you cannot always blame the bears because they are in their natural habitat and are fighting for survival. It should be a priority for campers to work their hardest to prevent any dangerous encounter.

The next time you go on a camping trip, be extremely vigilant and read up on ways to prepare for and prevent bear encounters.