Stolen polar bear skin

The polar bear skin is approximately eight feet by five feet and 'is a professional mount including the head and feet.' (RCMP)

Inuvik RCMP are looking to identify two suspects in the theft of a polar bear skin from a local hotel, worth an estimated $30,000.

In a news release, RCMP say the large wall hanging was stolen in the early morning hours of Nov. 6.

"The staff at the hotel observed two males fleeing from the hotel with the polar bear skin," the statement says.

One of the suspects was reportedly wearing a blue coat and brown hat.

The polar bear skin is approximately eight feet by five feet and "is a professional mount including the head and feet."  

RCMP did not say which hotel the skin was stolen from, but Vince Sharpe, who owns the skin, said it was taken from the as-yet-unopened restaurant at the Nova Inn.

Sharpe said that he was told one suspect distracted the employee at the hotel's front desk, asking her to check something in a laundry room. When the employee left, the two suspects made off with the skin into a waiting truck.

Sharpe loaned the skin to the restaurant while it was waiting for another to arrive. 

"We're going to encase this one in glass," he said. "It'll be well protected, and we'll have security cameras and that kind of thing."

Sharpe said that he hopes the skin is recovered, but that it doesn't hold any specific sentimental value. 

"Me and the bear never really connected," he said, with a laugh. "That's why God made insurance companies, isn't it?"

Anyone with information about the suspects or the whereabouts of the polar bear skin is asked to call the Inuvik RCMP at (867) 777-1111 or Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477.