Leader who shot polar bear has op

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The Independent Online

A leader of the Arctic expedition in which a British public schoolboy was mauled to death by a polar bear is to undergo surgery.

Michael "Spike" Reid, 29, from Plymouth, shot dead the bear that attacked the students on a Norwegian island a week ago. The bear had killed the Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple, 17, and wounded four other people.

Mr Reid has been in a stable condition in Derriford Hospital in Plymouth since Monday. He is to undergo surgery to repair head injuries sustained in the attack.

He wrote on Twitter that he could not breathe or eat through his mouth and needed surgery to fix his broken jaw, fractured skull and eyesocket.

The group were travelling on a British Schools Exploring Society expedition, camping near Longyearbyen on Svalbard.

Mr Reid shot the bear in the head, but not before it had killed Horatio and injured two students, Patrick Flinders from Jersey and Scott Bennell-Smith from Cornwall. Mr Reid and his fellow leader Andy Ruck were also mauled.