Sunday, August 15, 2010

Close Encounters

While I had a few close encounters with polar bears when I lived in Nunavut, I have to admit none of the were quite like this. It bears pointing out(sorry for the pun)that generally bears will take great pains to avoid human contact and that most encounters occur when we as humans encroach on their territory. The only serious attack I heard about during the time I lived up there occurred in 2003 when an Inuk guide was attacked in his tent at night while leading a hunting expedition. The man did survive, but needed a couple hundred stitches and staples to close to wounds to his scalp.

I recall coming across a black bear in Fort Smith 10 years ago, but fortunately for me, the bear showed much more interest in the berries it was eating than in me and I was able to beat a hasty retreat with nothing more than an elevated heart rate and a good northern tale.

While polar bears make for iconic northern photos, you always have to use your head. It's good to hear this encounter turned out safely for both human and bear.


Megan said...


When I lived in Inuvik, I often met tourists who wanted to see polar bears. They had no idea what the bears were actually like.