Nunatsiaq News
NEWS: Nunavut May 22, 2014 - 1:50 pm

Two Nunavut hunters being treated after polar bear attack

Men attacked at floe edge near Arctic Bay

Two hunters fended off a polar bear attack near Arctic Bay May 22. (WWF PHOTO)
Two hunters fended off a polar bear attack near Arctic Bay May 22. (WWF PHOTO)

Two hunters are being treated for injuries sustained in a May 22 polar bear attack outside the community of Arctic Bay.

Police said local members of the search and rescue team were called to help the two men, who are thought to have been attacked by at least one bear at the floe edge early May 22.

The RCMP said the two men were being treated at the local nursing station this morning.

Sources in Arctic Bay say the men’s injuries were not serious, and both were able to walk off the sea ice.

Surviving a polar bear attack is not uncommon. Every few years, harrowing stories emerge of someone narrowly surviving such an attack.

In Igloolik in 2011, a group of hunters looking for their cache of aged walrus meat were attacked by a polar bear with cubs.

The scene could have ended badly for the men but 58-year-old John Arnatsiaq shoved a hammer into the mother bear’s mouth, giving another member of the group time to shoot the threatening mammals.

There is also a famous story from Ivujivik in 2006 where tiny Lydia Angyiou tackled a polar bear that was threatening her son and his two friends while they played hockey outside the community’s youth centre.

Experts say the best thing to do is protect your head if attacked by a polar bear.

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