Peawanuck – NAPS Officers Dispatch Polar Bear

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Peawanuck – NEWS – A polar bear, showing abnormal behaviours and treating the community of Peawanuck as its hunting grounds, has been dispatched by police and local hunters.

Members of the Nishnawbe Aksi Police Service working out of the Peawanuck First Nation detachment received a call for service regarding a polar bear in the community in the afternoon hours of March 13, 2024.

When police arrived, they observed large bear paw prints in the area of the schoolyard. At this time, police received a second call for service regarding the same bear being spotted in another area of the community.

Through their investigation, police learned the bear was heading back in the direction of the schoolyard. Following some consultation with local wildlife experts, police learned the bear was exhibiting stalking behaviour and was very likely treating people, specifically children, in the area as potential prey.

The bear’s den was located in a wooded area within the community. This, combined with other abnormal behaviours displayed by the bear, led to the conclusion that it was treating Peawanuck as its hunting grounds and its citizens as prey.

This was exacerbated by the fact a community scavenger hunt was set to take place, which would have sent children directly toward the bear’s den.

With this information, and further consultation with community Elders, it was determined that dispatching the animal was the only way to maintain public safety.

NAPS officers, with local hunters, successfully located and dispatched the animal a short time later. The officers and local community members involved performed a traditional prayer ceremony.

The meat will be used to feed local community members, and Elders will harvest the pelt and other items to be used in traditional crafts and ceremonies.

The Nishnawbe Aski Police Service makes every effort to preserve wildlife through the course of its duties. An animal is only ever dispatched when it becomes a real and immanent threat to community safety, and no other reasonable course of action exists.

We want to thank all of the local community member, and Elders, who helped bring this incident to a professional and respectful conclusion.

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