Polar bear spotted in Tuktoyaktuk 3 times in a week

A file photo of a polar bear. The N.W.T. Department of Environment and Natural Resources is warning residents of Tuktoyaktuk, N.W.T. about a polar bear that was spotted in the community three times in a week.  (Trevor Brine/CBC - image credit)
A file photo of a polar bear. The N.W.T. Department of Environment and Natural Resources is warning residents of Tuktoyaktuk, N.W.T. about a polar bear that was spotted in the community three times in a week. (Trevor Brine/CBC - image credit)

The territorial government said a polar bear has made its way into Tuktoyaktuk, N.W.T. three times over the past week.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources said it believes the bear has been attracted by garbage and food being left out.

Mike Westwick, ENR spokesperson, wrote in an email that although this incident is specific to Tuktoyaktuk, polar bears are active across the entire Beaufort Delta.

He warned residents to not leave food, fuel or garbage outside; to avoid walking outside in the dark; and to keep children close and pets on leashes.

Westwick shared a polar bear information pamphlet made by several organizations including the town of Churchill, Man. and Parks Canada.

"Unlike other bears, the polar bears of Canada's Arctic are true predators and can view humans as a potential food source," it reads.

"Playing dead will only put you at greater risk for an attack by a polar bear."

ENR is asking residents to report bear sightings immediately 867-678-0289.