Polar bear who attacked youth adventure group had a toothache

A post-mortem of the 39 stone (546 pound) polar bear that killed a British teenager in Norway has shown that that several of its teeth were “very damaged”, which means it would have been “in serious pain”. They also believe that the bear was quite probably starving prior to the attack.

The man who killed a polar bear which attacked a group of students on an expedition in Norway is having a third operation to treat his injuries.

On August 5 the bear attacked the camp of 13 people from the British Schools Exploring Society, a youth development charity based in London. The bear killed Eton student, Horatio Chappele (17) and injured others before it was shot by the team leader, Michael "Spike" Reid.
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The attack took place near the Von Post glacier, about 25 miles from Longyearbyen.

Veterinarian Bjoernar Ytrehus, who carried out the post mortem, told the Daily Mail “Under two of the canines and many of the incisors, the nerves were exposed…This causes serious pain and changes the behavior of bears.”

He added that due to the bear’s dental problems it could have been surviving on vegetables, rather than seals, and was probably starving when it came across the campsite.

Ytrehus continued “Starving and suffering, a bear is more unpredictable and aggressive than normal.”

The group’s leader, Reid, was one of five in the group who was mauled by the bear. The son of a County Down man’s son was the one who eventually shot the bear. Before entering surgery on Wednesday he tweeted “Another day, another operation. Please cross your fingers for me."

Previous Twitter posts from Reid said “At the mo I can't breathe, eat or talk thru my mouth.

"I'm off 4 my big op now. Want my broken jaw, fractured skull & eyesocket damage fixed."