In a rare and shocking incident, a Canadian man died due to a polar bear attack in Nanavut, Canada’s northernmost territory. He was trying to protect his children from the polar bear. The incident happened on 3rd July.
31 year old Aaron Gibbons was on an island along the west coast of Hudson Bay with his daughters. The family was enjoying a holiday on Sentry island, a popular boating and fishing spot. When Mr. Gibbons found the polar bear charging towards them, he asked his daughters to run, putting himself between them and the bear.
The children remained unharmed. However, Mr. Gibbons lost his life in the polar bear attack. A relative said “he died a hero”. Later, another adult shot and killed the polar bear.
Both his daughters, studying in elementary school, made it safely to the boat. One of them called for help using the CB radio. “We actually heard the call for help,” said Gordy Kidlapik, Mr. Gibbons’s uncle. “It was terrible to listen to,” he added.
Mr. Gibbons was pronounced dead at the scene.
Residents of Arviat shocked by polar bear attack
Kidlapik further added that everyone in Mr. Gibbons’s of Arviat was in a state of shock, as his body arrived on Tuesday night. The town is situated only 10 kms from the site of the attack. Many in the town have grown accustomed to polar bear sightings as they migrate north.
Last year, there were over 380 polar bear sighting in the hamlet. The residents, predominantly of the Inuit community, have become increasingly concerned about their safety.
Polar bear excursions conducted by various companies have removed the fear of humans from these animals. As a result, they have become more prone to attacking humans.
The last death due to a polar bear attack in Nanavut occurred in 2000.