File photo.

London -

The expedition leader who shot a polar bear which had mauled him after killing a boy and attacking three others made his first public appearance on Wednesday since the incident.

Michael Reid’s jaw was broken, his skull fractured and one of his eye sockets damaged as he tried to fight off the bear last month.

He spent two and a half weeks in hospital and had several operations to repair deep lacerations caused by the bear’s teeth and claws. At one point his head was in the animal’s jaws and he still has scars on his cheeks and forehead.

Reid, 29, was guest of honour of Sir Ranulph Fiennes, who collected an honorary doctorate in science from Plymouth University. He turned and gave a shy bow as he received a standing ovation from 300 students after Sir Ranulph introduced him at the ceremony on Plymouth Hoe, Devon.

Reid was at the ceremony as the explorer’s guest of honour, who praised of his “courageous” actions in Svalbard, Norway.

He was one of the leaders of the group travelling on a British Schools Exploring Society expedition, which was camping on the Von Postbreen glacier on Svalbard, north of the Norwegian mainland.

The bear killed Horatio Chapple, 17, and injured two students, Patrick Flinders, 16, from Jersey and Scott Bennell-Smith, 16, from Cornwall, before Reid was able to shoot it the head. - Daily Mail