Polar bear shot dead in Churchill

Grocery prices in Churchill have skyrocketed over the last few months.

A polar bear was shot and killed by Conservation Deparment officers in Churchill on Friday.

And the woman whose terrified screams alerted officials about the bear's presence said she was sad to hear the bear had to be been put down.

Gloria McDonald said she was dropping her kids off to daycare when the bear approached her truck at about 8:30 a.m. McDonald said she screamed and swung her bags at the animal until Conservation officials showed up.

"I'm still going to live in Churchill and polar bear country but I will be very more aware of when the kids are playing," McDonald said.

Conservation officers tried to lure the bear out of town, but it became aggressive and would not leave, spokesman Paul White said.

The first option is always to shoot with a tranquilizer dart then relocate the animal outside town limits. However, the bear was so aggressive the officers were concerned that, if the dart hit in an awkward way and the drug didn't properly take effect, it could make the animal more agitated, White said.

There were a number of people walking about the town at the time, so officers made the decision to shoot to kill when they had a clear opportunity.

This is the second bear to be shot this month in the northern Manitoba community.

A bear that chased a photographer and rammed a Conservation Department truck was put down July 4.

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