Polar bear sightings on the rise in Arctic Canadian community

Natar Ungalaaq of Igloolik, Nunavut, shot and killed a polar bear he said was looking right into his cabin last week. (Submitted photo) CBC.caLast week 14 bears were spotted near the hamlet

Hamlet officials in the community of Igloolik, in Canada’s eastern Arctic territory of Nunavut, are discussing a long-term plan for polar bears after an unusually high number have been spotted.

They met with the Hunters and Trappers Association, the Department of Environment and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police on Friday to coordinate their response.

They now have a list of three experienced people on call to respond if an animal is spotted near the town.

Conservation Officer Jimmy Kennedy said regular patrols are also in effect by snowmobile, all-terrain vehicle and truck.

“Early in the morning, right at lunch, when everybody’s returning after lunch, and then when the kids are being let out after school – there’s good coverage of people patrolling the community to make sure there’s no bears.”

Last week, 14 bears were spotted near the hamlet. Four were killed and one was shot and wounded.

The hamlet’s senior administrative officer, Brian Fleming, said they will be looking to communities like Arviat and Resolute Bay to help them come up with a long-term plan to manage problem bears.

“You know, there’s always been polar bear problems and stuff in Igloolik and across Nunavut as a whole,” Fleming said. “But this particular year we just have a lot of polar bears.”

Related Link:

Star of acclaimed Inuit-language film shoots polar bear in self-defence, CBC News

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