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Tuesday, 1 September 2020

Pictured: Dutch man, 38, who was dragged from his tent by a polar bear and mauled to death on Norwegian island

  • Johan Jacobus Kootte was killed in a campsite near Longyearbyen on Friday
  • This is the sixth fatal polar bear attack in almost 50 years in Norway's Svalbard
  • The bear was later found dead in a parking lot after people fired shots at it
A Dutch man who was dragged from his tent by a polar bear and mauled to death on a Norwegian island in the Arctic has been pictured for the first time.
Johan Jacobus Kootte was killed during the night while he was lying in his tent in a camping area near the town Longyearbyen, on the island of Svalbard, which is 800 miles from the North Pole.
The 38-year-old was seriously wounded during the attack and died soon after, the local governor's office said in a statement.
It is the sixth fatal attack in almost 50 years in the region. 
Johan Jacobus Kootte was killed during the night while he was lying in his tent in a camping area near the town Longyearbyen
Johan Jacobus Kootte was killed during the night while he was lying in his tent in a camping area near the town Longyearbyen
Mr Kootee, a seasonal worker on the island, was ripped from his tent as he slept at around 4am on Friday
 Mr Kootee, a seasonal worker on the island, was ripped from his tent as he slept at around 4am on Friday
The bear was then found dead in a car park near the airport having been shot by locals
The bear was then found dead in a car park near the airport having been shot by locals
Mr Kootee, a seasonal worker on the island, was ripped from his tent as he slept at around 4am on Friday. 
The bear was then found dead in a car park near the airport having been shot by locals.
Pictures have also emerged of the animal's body and also Mr Kootee's crumpled tent, which shows the aftermath of the devastating attack.
Blood splatters were seen close to the camp site, where six other people were sleeping, but not injured in the tragedy, according to local reports. 
They have been offered counselling after being checked over at hospital and released a statement paying tribute to the victim, The Sun reports.
They wrote: 'We now need peace and that we are allowed to mourn our friend who is dead.
'We would like to thank the people of Longyearbyen and the Governor for their efforts and support during this difficult day.' 
Dutch national Johan Jacobus Kootte was killed during the night while he was lying in his tent in a camping area (pictured today) near the town Longyearbyen, which is 800 miles from the North Pole, local officials said on Friday
Dutch national Johan Jacobus Kootte was killed during the night while he was lying in his tent in a camping area (pictured today) near the town Longyearbyen, which is 800 miles from the North Pole, local officials said on Friday
The attack happened in a camp site near the town Longyearbyen, which is 1,300 kilometres (800 miles) from the North Pole
The attack happened in a camp site near the town Longyearbyen, which is 1,300 kilometres (800 miles) from the North Pole
In Svalbard, which is also known as Spitzberg, people are advised to carry a weapon when outside urban areas.
According to a tally from 2015, the archipelago is home to about 1,000 polar bears, a protected species since 1973.
Until now, five deadly attacks on people had been recorded since 1971.
The most recent one occurred in 2011 when a bear attacked a group of 14 people camping as part of a British school trip. 
A 17-year-old British student was killed and four others were injured before the animal was killed.
According to experts, the shrinking icecap has reduced the polar bears' preferred hunting grounds, where they eat seals, pushing them to approach populated areas in their hunt for food.

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