Courtesy the Town of Churchill:
Also, note that a mother with a litter of triplets spotted along the coast of Wapusk National Park (just east and south of Churchill) in good condition, 15 September 2020 (see photo below). Biologist Nick Lunn falsely claimed in 2018 that no triplet litters had been born in Western Hudson Bay since 1996 – a correction made later claimed Lunn meant there hasn’t been any triplet litters seen in the fall, which was also not true in 2017 or in 2020:
Compare weekly stats above for this year to a few previous years at the second week in September:
In Svalbard, Norway, it is routine practice to chase polar bears away from settlements with snow machines and helicopters, then tranquilize and relocate them if necessary but in late January this approach led to the death of a young male bear.
Necropsy results released 26 March 2020 revealed that the two year old bear, who had wandered into and around Longyearbyen multiple times in late January, was captured after a prolonged helicopter chase but died enroute as it was flown north to Nordaustlandet (see map below) from circulatory failure due to administering anesthesia after the prolonged stress of being chased.
Video here of the bear being chased out of Longyearbyen by helicopter (photo above is of the New Year’s bear). Longyearbyen has had more problems than usual with polar bears this winter due to the unusually extensive sea ice off the west coast of Svalbard. Polar bears are particularly dangerous in winter and with the abundance of bears in recent years many Arctic communities are at risk with each having to find their own solutions.
In the wee hours of New Years Day 2020 a fat Svalbard polar bear was shot because of persistent visits to downtown Longyearbyen and the public was outraged. A few weeks later a bear attacked a dogsled loaded with tourists. The death of the young bear in late January in the course of removing it (rather than shooting it) is a reminder that tranquilizing a polar bear, especially after a prolonged chase, can be as lethal as shooting it.
In case you missed it back on 27 Februrary 2019. See the original here (with photos).**
Posted in Advocacy, Conservation Status, Polar bear attacks, Population, Summary
Tagged attacks, Churchill, essay, fatal, Novaya Zemlya, Nunavut, opinion, polar bear, problem, sea ice
Just in (VOCM, 1 February 2019) from a community called Makkovik on the coast of Labrador: one of two bears sighted prowling the local dump has been relocated for public safety. The community is still on high alert until the other bear can be located.
Polar bear spotted near Black Tickle Labrador on 7 March 2017.
Polar bears are extraordinarily dangerous at this time of year because they are usually at their leanest weight and can be desperate for food of any kind. See the most recent example here, others here and here (with references).
See below for a map showing the location of Makkovik, population about 360.
Latest report on problem bears in Churchill, Manitoba, from the town’s Facebook page. See previous post here for map and background.
19 polar bears handled to date this year; 12 bears in the holding facility.
Photo above: A bear is transported to Churchill’s polar bear holding facility (from a 2011 Huffington Post article, “Polar Bear Prison”).
Activity report for 7-14 September 2015 copied below (click to enlarge):