Polar Bear Kills British Teenager Horatio Chapple in the Arctic, Injures 4

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A polar bear attacked and killed a British teenager who was on a camping trip in the Arctic early today, officials said.

Horatio Chapple, 17, was on a trip organized by the British Schools Exploring Society when the bear fatally mauled him and injured four others.

At least two people were severely injured and were airlifted to a hospital in the Tromsoe, Norway.

"With great sadness, the British Schools Exploring Society confirms the tragic death this morning of one of the members of its expedition in Svalbard," Edward Watson, chairman of the British Schools Exploring Society, told The Associated Press.

Chapple had planned to study medicine, according to Watson.

"By all accounts, he would have made an excellent doctor," Watson said.

The attack happened on the Norwegian island of Svalbard, which has a population of about 2,400 people and 3,000 polar bears.

The bear attacked the 13-person group Chapple was traveling with as they were camping as part of an educational research expedition.

A camper shot and killed the bear, according to Liv Asta Oedegaard, a spokeswoman for the Svalbard governor's office.

Visitors to the region are advised to be armed and keep food stored securely.

"These days, when the ice comes in and out like it does right now, it's not unlikely to encounter polar bears," Lars Erik Alfheim, vice-governor of Svalbard told the BBC. "Polar bears are extremely dangerous and it's an animal that can attack without any notice."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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