Official Australian travel advice warning of “polar bear attacks” in Norway has been mocked by the Scandinavian country’s Foreign Ministry in online posts.
Norway’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs took to Twitter to poke fun at a Smartraveller update which suggested Aussie tourists could be hurt by the animals.
“Thank you Australia for your concern. We can assure you that in mainland Norway all polar bears are stuffed and poses only limited risk,” the Norwegian Foreign Ministry tweeted.
— Norway MFA (@NorwayMFA) January 12, 2018
To illustrate its point, the Norwegian Foreign Ministry also posted a picture of a stuffed polar bear from inside the Prime Minister’s office.
Earlier this week, Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) had posted updates to its Smartraveller Facebook and Twitter accounts which advised tourists heading to Norway to “avoid polar bear attacks” by reading the official travel advice.
Attached to the posts was a link to DFAT’s latest safety information for Norway which includes a specific section on the arctic archipelago of Svalbard.
“There are risks for travellers to the arctic archipelago of Svalbard relating to avalanches, glacier accidents, boating incidents and polar bear encounters,” the Smartraveller advice warns.
The updated travel advice points out that tourists have been killed or injured by these dangers in the past.
A DFAT spokesperson said no changes have been made to the Smartraveller advice relating to mainland Norway.
“The level of travel advice remains at the lowest level — exercise normal safety precautions,” the spokesperson said.