Saturday, September 01, 2007

Wandering Polar Bear heads south again

There's one polar bear that just can't seem to get enough of the summer heat. For the second time in a month, the large female bear has frustrated wildlife officials by wandering south of her usual habitat on the Arctic Ocean.

People living along the Mackenzie River thought they had seen the last of the lost polar bear that had wandered near their communities early last month.

But after being trapped and flown more than 300 kilometres from Fort McPherson to the coast, it seems the bear simply turned around and started walking south again.

Now it has been spotted near Aklavik, about 100 kilometres north of Fort McPherson.

James Pokiak, who has been hunting polar bears around Tuktoyaktuk for more than 30 years, told CBC News on Friday the animal probably got used to its southern surroundings.

"Probably the main reason why it's doing that is it's kind of habituated now and it must have found some really good food sources. Once an animal gets used to an area, definitely they're going to get back there."

Pokiak said wildlife officials should have transported the bear farther north to its normal home on the sea ice.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources officials said they have no plans to interfere with the bear's southern journey this time. It's a decision that has some residents concerned the bear could pose a danger.

"I think it's considered a dangerous animal to be on the Delta," said Donald Aviugana, an elder who lives in Aklavik. "You know, there are caribou hunters and people berry picking … you never know what could happen."

The bear, which is fitted with a satellite collar, will continue to be tracked by wildlife officials.

CBC News


Jeni said...

And just how far are the wanderings of this bear from your humble abode anyway? Any chance it could make its way near your place?

Gene Bach said...

Pretty cool to have the opportunity to check out that bear. Of course I'd check it out from a distance. LOL!

bob said...

love the pic.

bob on!

Bong (JB) said...


I surely wouldn't want one of the world's largest land carnivore walking down my road. They're cute but we're all meat in their eyes. :)