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The Hamlet of Kugluktuk, home of “The Grizzlies” sports team, is well known as grizzly bear country.

Come spring, summer or fall the powerful predator can be seen roaming the country side near the Coronation Gulf, feeding on fish that travel the Coppermine and surrounding rivers.

The carcass of a dead grizzly, found on the beach near Four Mile Bay on July 11, was the talk of the town in Kugluktuk recently. The Government of Nunavut was uncertain of how the respected predator died, despite much curiosity among locals.
Rita Pigalak NNSL/photo

To many in the area, the grizzly is revered and respected. People camping on the land are often accompanied by a bear dog and usually ensure their cabins are boarded up to avoid physical damage.

That’s why residents were extremely curious when a dead grizzly was found on the beach near Four Mile Bay in Kugluktuk on July 11.

Many local people, along with their children, drove out to see the grizzly after its carcass was found.

As of this week, the Government of Nunavut was uncertain how the bear died.

“This was a younger grizzly bear and had battle wounds,” Karen Flaherty, manager of communications, education and outreach with the Department of Environment, told Nunavut News

“It is suspected that it died fighting off an older bear, however, the exact cause of death is not known. The carcass was picked up by conservation officers and brought to the dump. The carcass had already started decomposing and therefore was not salvageable,” Flaherty stated. “If the carcass were in better condition, the local conservation officer would have salvaged the hide and given to the local HTO (hunters and trappers organization) or other local community group for use.”

Rita Pigalak - Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Rita Pigalak grew up in Kugluktuk and spent most of her adult life there. Inuinnaqtun is her mother tongue. She now lives in Yellowknife but remains intimately connected with her home community and the...

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