Killer polar bear ‘had toothache’

A polar bear which killed a British teenager in Norway earlier this month was probably excessively aggressive because he had toothache, a veterinarian has claimed.

Speaking to news bureau NTB, Bjornar Ytrehus, of Norway’s Veterinary Institute, said that after examining the bear, which was shot following the attack, he found the nerves on several of its teeth were exposed.

“This must have influenced the behaviour of the bear,” Ytrehus said after the autopsy. The results also revealed that the bear’s stomach was almost empty, indicating that it was hungry at the time of the attack.

Horatio Chapple, 17, died after being mauled by the bear on Spitsbergen Island on Friday 5th August. He was with a group of 80 taking part in an Arctic expedition organised by the British Schools Exploring Society (BSES). Four others were also injured when the 250kg bear attacked a tent sheltering three boys.

The bear was eventually shot dead by a leader of the group who also suffered serious head and neck lacerations. All the injured have since returned to the UK.