Polar bear killed in Tuktoyaktuk after wandering into community
3rd polar bear seen in community since end of September, after 10 years of no sightings
A polar bear has been killed in Tuktoyaktuk after it wandered into the community — the third time a bear has been seen in the town since September.
Joe Nasogaluak said he heard a bear was in town at around midnight, and headed out with his 16-year-old son, Henson. He found the bear eating fish near a snowbank where children usually play.
"Everybody has fish boxes. It's just a way of life, and the polar bears end up sniffing it out," said Nasogaluak.
"The polar bear wasn't scared and it was not starving but pretty thin."
Nasogaluak rushed to the hunters and trappers office to get a polar bear tag. When he returned, the bear had disappeared, but he chased it and caught up with it.
The bear measured about two and half metres.
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This is the third bear to wander into Tuktoyaktuk this fall. The previous two were chased away. Previous to that, polar bears had not entered the community for about 10 years.
Five polar bear tags were allotted to the community Nov. 1, for defence kills.
According to N.W.T.'s Department of Environment and Natural Resources, bear hunting season opened up both in the Beaufort Delta on Dec. 1. Tags are required for that.
The need for tags prior to a kill has Nasogaluak concerned.
"I think, if a bear comes in town, shoot it and then talk later. Because I think it's safer for people, especially kids."
He said he saw each polar bear that came into town and that they were three different bears.
"I don't think this is the last one," he said. "I know there's going to be more."
Nasogaluak said he's going to make clothing out of the bear he shot.