Igloolik seeks airplane to continue search for elder
The mayor of Igloolik, Nunavut,is looking for anyone willing to lend an aircraft to help volunteers search for elder EnokieKunuk, who has been missing for more than three weeks.
"It's getting pretty hard, because it's been 24 days since he has left and he's 81 years old," Mayor Paul Quassa told CBC News on Monday.
"He can't walk very far if he decided to walk. There's no way he could move his snowmobile if he gets stuck. So these are things that keep popping into our heads, and it's very frustrating, I'd say."
Kunuk was last seen leaving Igloolik on June 1 to hunt caribou about 100 kilometres northwest of the hamlet.
Military aircraft spent eight days earlier this month searching for him and a ground search continued. Nunavut's emergency measures organization also conducted an air search last weekend.
Searchers have not spotted any sign of the hunter, his snowmobile or his kamotiq or sled.
Kunuk's family members met Monday with local elders and search and rescue officials. Quassa said the family thanked everyone who have helped with the search and tried their best.
Quassa said the people of Igloolik, a hamlet of about 1,500, have not given up on the search. But he added the ground search may not continue because there is no more snow on the ground, and an aircraft would be the only way searchers can reach inland.
"There is still hope, because we all know that Enoki Kunuk is a very well-capable elder and he has survived for a good many years," he said. "I mean, he's 81, and he still goes out."