www.telegraph.co.uk 16th August 2011
The deadly attack on the 5th August that resulted in the death of British teenager Horatio Chapple may have been caused by the polar bear’s severe toothache, according to Norwegian vets. The 39 stone male polar bear was shot dead soon after the attack allowing vets to study the body. “Under two of the canines and many of the incisors, the nerves were exposed. This causes serious pain and changes the behaviour of bears,” said Bjoernar Ytrehus from Norway’s Veterinary Institute. The diagnosis led experts to suggest that the bear was either old or sick and therefore unable to eat its normal diet of seals. Vegetables were the likely alternative causing the tooth damage. ”Starving and suffering, a bear is more unpredictable and aggressive than normal,” Dr Ytrehus said. Horatio Chapple was one of 13 travelling with a British Schools Exploring Society expedition. Their campsite was situated on the Von Postbreen glacier on Spitsbergen, north of the Norwegian mainland when the bear attacked. Several others were hospitalised.