Manitoba

Record number of clashes between polar bears, people blamed on late ice

Manitoba conservation officials say polar bear encounters with the inhabitants of Churchill have reached record levels on the shores of Hudson Bay.

Polar bears encroached on the town almost 390 times this year — a jump from 351 in 2015

Shrinking sea ice means bears have less time to hunt seals and spend more time on land without food. (Jiangou Xie via @churchillwildsafaris)

Manitoba conservation officials say polar bear encounters with the inhabitants of Churchill have reached record levels on the shores of Hudson Bay.

Polar bears encroached on the town almost 390 times this year — a jump from 351 in 2015.

Some 53 bears were held in the town's so-called polar bear jail and all had been released by last week.

Daryll Hedman with Manitoba Conservation says the sea ice didn't form until well into December, leaving hungry polar bears crowded on the shore.

Polar bear expert Andrew Derocher at the University of Alberta says the Hudson Bay population is getting closer to extinction.

Shrinking sea ice means bears have less time to hunt seals and spend more time on land without food.

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