One hunter dead, two injured after Nunavut polar bear attack

This is the Nunavut’s second fatal polar bear attack this summer

Nunavut officials are investigating a polar bear attack that killed an Inuit hunter and injured two others.

RCMP say the three from the community of Naujaat were discovered off White Island, about 80 kilometres away, on Tuesday.

The two survivors had minor injuries.

RELATED: ‘Very big shock:’ Nunavut man killed by polar bear while protecting kids

The hunters left Naujaat, which is on the northernmost shore of Hudson Bay, Aug. 21 to hunt narwhal and caribou. They were expected home on Thursday.

Police say they were notified when the trio hadn’t shown up by Sunday. Search efforts by the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre, the Nunavut Emergency Management office and a local search team began Monday.

Resources included a Hercules airplane and boats from the Naujaat search-and-rescue team. The boats weren’t able to reach where the hunters were believed to be when sea ice blocked the way.

A second Hercules as well as a helicopter-equipped icebreaker joined the search on Tuesday.

White Island is an uninhabited island of low peaks and frozen lakes at the mouth of Repulse Bay.

RCMP continue to investigate the death. A team from the Nunavut Environment Department is also on the site.

Department spokesman Dan Pimentel said a report on the death should be available in the next few days.

It’s Nunavut’s second fatal polar bear attack this summer.

RELATED: Canada in middle of pack on polar bear protection: World Wildlife Fund

In early July, a man from Arviat was killed when a bear appeared during a family outing on an island near the community. Aaron Gibbons, 31, died after he placed himself between the bear and his children, who were able to run to safety.

That bear was subsequently killed. A report on its condition has not been made public.

Fatal polar bear attacks on humans are rare despite the animals’ fearsome abilities.

Pimentel said the last fatal mauling before this year was in 2000 near Rankin Inlet.

A 2017 report from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on bear attacks outlined 73 recorded predatory attacks and 20 fatalities between 1870 and 2014, although that list is likely incomplete.

Nearly two-thirds of the attacks were by young adult bears who were starting to starve. Nearly nine in 10 attacks occurred between July and December when sea ice was at its lowest.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

C.V. Hospital Tuck Shop purchases new equipment

C.V. Hospital Tuck Shop has purchased a transport chair plus bedside and… Continue reading

Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is coming to Creston

MP Wayne Stetski invites the public to join him and Federal NDP… Continue reading

I voted for Proportional Representation

“I look forward to new ideas and reforms being introduced based on their merits, rather than based on who is introducing them or opposing them.”

Referendum deadlines approaching

Return your voting package to Elections BC by 4:30 p.m. on November 30.

99 Red Ballons

By Brian Lawrence In what has become an annual tradition, students in… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: 5 coats you need this winter!

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Federal fall update expected to offer more support for struggling news industry

Ottawa committed $50 million over five years for local journalism in ‘underserved communities’ last budget

UK’s May appeals to public on Brexit, braces for more blows

British Prime Minister Theresa May answered questions from callers on a radio phone-in, the day after she vowed to stay in office

VIDEO: Stan Lee leaves posthumous message for his fans

Marvel Comics’ co-creator died on Monday at the age of 95

Woman searching for father last seen in Nelson in 1999

Johnson’s daughter, Chandra Machin, is searching for her father

$136M in transit funding coming to B.C.

The announcement was made at the BC Transit yard in Langford on Friday morning

Ottawa apologizes to Japanese family in B.C. after chopping historic cherry trees

Plaque installed in Prince Rupert to honour the memory of Shotaro Shimizu

Two B.C. police officers, held in Cuba for months, cleared of sex assault allegations

Port Moody Const. Jordan Long and Vancouver Const. Mark Simms have been in Cuba since March

Sunrise ceremony at B.C. legislature honours Louis Riel

Nov. 16 marks the 133rd anniversary of the Métis leader’s death

Most Read