Deadly polar bear had a toothache

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A polar bear that attacked a group of British campers on Svalbard earlier this month may have been especially aggressive because of a toothache, according to a state veterinarian who has examined the bear’s head.

Bjørnar Ytrehus of Norway’s Veterinary Institute told news bureau NTB that the nerves were exposed on several of the bear’s teeth. “This must have influenced the behaviour of the bear,” Ytrehus said after an autopsy of the bear was concluded.

The polar bear was shot and killed after it had killed a 17-year-old British camper and injured four others in the August 5 attack. All were part of a nature expedition on the Arctic archipelago that’s under Norwegian jurisdiction.

Earlier autopsy results had also revealed that the bear’s stomach was mostly empty, indicating it was also hungry.

Views and News staff