Dad mauled to death by polar bear while protecting kids

Dad mauled to death by polar bear while protecting kids

Another adult later shot and killed the bear.

A 31-year-old man from Arviat was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).

Aaron Gibbons, 31, was on Sentry Island, a popular fishing and hunting spot on the west coast of Hudson Bay, when he encountered the bear on 3 July.

Gibbons, who lived in Nunavut, the country's northernmost territory, died after putting himself between his children and the bear, the man's cousin Eric Anoee told CBC.

'Definitely Aaron died a hero, he protected his children.

"We're a small community and when something like this happens, it affects the whole community".

"It's really just incredibly sad", said local lawmaker John Main on Canadian broadcaster CBC.

The uncle added that Gibbons would normally have a rifle with him on that island, known to have bears, but he did not have it immediately at hand when the bear attacked.

Polar bear excursions hosted in the region have also removed the wild animal's fear of humans, Mr Kidlapik alleged on Twitter, potentially resulting in more attacks on humans.

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There hasn't been a polar bear related death in Nunavut for 18 years, but elders from the area told the media polar bears have been visiting the community and have become less afraid of humans in recent years.

'It's always something that people are mindful of and it's always something that I think people are concerned about in terms of the risks, ' he added. The last time a person was killed by a polar bear in Nunavut occurred in 2000.

"That island, you know, it's one of the places where there will be bears".

But efforts have been taken to address the issue.

Polar bears are the largest living predators on land, but despite their reputation, attacks on humans are extremely rare. The Polar Bear Specialist Group, an global body of experts, says that number is stable although it notes declines in body size and condition.

In 2016, 205 bears were deterred from the area and only four were killed in defense of life and property, according to the Department of Environment.

"It could have been one of these bears that killed my qangiaq". Today, bears are not doing that.

Police are now investigating the incident working with the Nunavut coroner's office.

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