Polar bear encounter with dog in Black Tickle Labrador has a happy ending for both

In the first such report I’ve seen this season, last Sunday a family husky living on the south coast of Labrador met a curious young polar bear in very good condition; the bear left without incident but the family captured video of the encounter. Abundant ice offshore has almost certainly brought a number of Davis Strait bears south ready to feed on newborn harp seal pups, which won’t be available for a few more weeks.

From April 2019, also at Black Tickle.

We are approaching the season described in my polar bear attack thriller, EATEN. A timely read if you haven’t seen it yet, available in paperback and ebook formats.

Marker shows Black Tickle, which is not far from the Strait of Belle Isle that separates Labrador from the northern peninsula of Newfoundland (centre, bottom).

From CBC News (1 March 2022), the video shows that the bear was in very good condition for this time of year, especially for a young bear:


A Labrador family is breathing a sigh of relief after their pet dog walked away without a scratch after a close encounter with a polar bear.

Victoria Keefe was at her grandparents’ home in Black Tickle — a tiny community on an island off the Labrador coast, about 700 kilometres northwest of St. John’s — for dinner Sunday when her grandmother spotted something unusual outside through a window.

Keefe said her grandmother was worried Nanuk would react poorly and the bear would lash out.

But [he] kind of just stayed calm and the bear was smelling him over,” Keefe said. “[The bear] didn’t really know what to do with Nanuk, just as much as Nanuk didn’t know what to do with him.”

Keefe started recording the encounter, capturing the bear and its movements. Her grandfather opened the window and began yelling at it, hoping to shoo it away from the dog. 

“Because this bear, the young bear, he didn’t really, I guess, interact with people much so he comes over to the window and gets on his hind legs and starts smelling at the window,” Keefe said. 

Her grandparents’ housemate fired a bear banger — a loud explosive launched from a handheld tube, used to ward off bears — at the polar bear, which ran off but is still presumed to be in the area, said Keefe. 

Sea ice conditions Labrador and Newfoundland

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