North

Residents of Aklavik spotting more grizzly bears in town

About 10 grizzly bears have been living at the community dump in Aklavik, N.W.T., this summer.

'Every night, now, there are bears being seen in the community,' says resident Manny Arey

A file photo of a grizzly bear. Residents in Aklavik, N.W.T., say they are spotting more grizzly bears in town. 'Every night, now, there are bears being seen in the community,' says resident Manny Arey. (Jakub Moravec/Shutterstock)

About 10 grizzly bears have been foraging at the community dump in Aklavik, N.W.T., this summer. Though the bears stay there for the most part, a couple have made their way into the hamlet.

"They are trying to eat and fatten up before they go into hibernation," said Manny Arey, who's with the Aklavik Hunters and Trappers Committee.

"Every night, now, there are bears being seen in the community. Residents of Aklavik watch out for each other."

Arey said a couple of bears were destroyed earlier this summer, but said more may need to be killed as residents are still seeing the bears coming into the community near homes.

He recommends people to get a ride at night if they can and continue to be watchful, especially now that school is back in session.

Residents of  Aklavik  watch out for each other.- Manny Arey , Aklavik  Hunters and Trappers Committee

The territory's Department of Environment and Natural Resources said that because Aklavik's landfill is about two kilometres away from the hamlet, they typically just leave the bears alone. But recently, the department has started to get an increase in calls about bears coming to town.

Norman Snowshoe said the bears should go into hibernation any day now. (Submitted by Norman Snowshoe)

"Right now we are just monitoring them and making sure they aren't coming to town and posing any threat to the public," said Norman Snowshoe, the superintendent with the department in Inuvik.

"If a bear comes to you … remain calm, do not run away and follow those procedures and then you can call the local officer to assist."

Snowshoe said he expects the bears to hibernate any day now.