Young Polar Bears Wander Around Canadian Town Scaring Local Residents

By @snksounak on
Polar bear Giovanna and her twin polar bears Nela and Nobby eat an ice cake with fresh fruit and cream
Polar bear Giovanna (C) and her twin polar bears Nela and Nobby eat an ice cake with fresh fruit and cream to celebrate their first birthday in their enclosure at Tierpark Hellabrunn zoo in Munich December 9, 2014. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle

At least six young polar bears were shot in Canada when they roamed into the human community without being accompanied by their mothers. The incidents took place in Taloyoak on the Boothia peninsula in central Nunavut, where the motherless bears have been seen since September.

The size of the bears ranged from that of a small dog to around two metres. All of them seemed to be around a couple of years old. This is the period when young bears are normally accompanied by their mother. Bob Lyall from the Taloyoak Hunters and Trappers Organization said that the bears were looking for food since they seemed hungry. In some cases, they peeked into bedroom windows and broke into shack to steal food and hide. CBC News reported that the shacks the young bears target were generally used by local residents to store meat beside their houses. According to Lyall, it is a "scary situation" for the local residents as the "scavenging" bears are "nothing to fool with."

The World Wildlife Fund's Pete Ewins said that a 20-month to 22-month-old polar bear cub is generally with its mother in that part of the Arctic. He said that a bear cub would be kicked out on the sea ice next spring after it crosses that age.  The WWF runs programmes in Nunavut so that human communities and bears can coexist. However, the young bears which are wandering around Taloyoak are not really cubs. Lyall said that they were not "little Coca-Cola bears." The Star reported that they were, on the contrary, hungry bears that were looking for food in the town. One of the bears was spotted just before school children were supposed to get out for recess. The children were kept indoors. Another bear was seen near the construction of a new power plant. The construction process was halted right away. Armed Canadian Rangers did patrolling on Halloween to keep everyone on the street safe.

According to Lyall, there are a number of theories behind why the young bears were showing up. Some say that male bears killed the mothers as it is a usual occurrence while others say that the young beasts may have lost their mothers because of a moratorium on hunting bears.

Contact the writer: s.mukhopadhyay@ibtimes.com.au

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