An Iglulik elder who shot a mother polar bear and her cub within municipal boundaries in December was justified in killing the animals, a GN investigation has determined.
“The Department of Environment, in conjunction and collaboration with the HTO in Igloolik, have determined the harvest of the bears was an act of defence of life and property,” stated Karen Flaherty, manager of communications with the Department of Environment.
Iglulik Mayor Celestino Uyarak previously told Nunavut News that he felt strongly that the elder’s actions were warranted.
“Any polar bears, cubs or not, that is threatening local people, hunting ground or shack, the polar bear would have to be put down,” Uyarak said, adding that the intruders had wandered into a resident’s porch prior to being shot. “I would have defended this elder or any person that was on the defence kill.”
Polar bears also pose challenges by digging up and consuming hunters’ walrus caches buried outside the community, Uyarak added.