Sirmilik National Park of Canada

Polar Bears and other wildlife

In Sirmilik National Park, polar bears are most active along the coast of the Borden Peninsula and along the north, west, and east coasts of Bylot Island. Be particularly cautious in March/April when females with cubs are emerging from their dens, and from July to October when the sea ice is gone and the bears are forced ashore.

Polar bears may be encountered at other times of the year and in other areas of the park, even on glaciers. Always avoid camping near places where food may be cached or where harvesting activities (especially seal) have occurred, as polar bears may be attracted to these areas.

Read the Safety in Polar Bear Country pamphlet carefully and take the necessary precautions if you choose to travel in polar bear country. Consider travelling in larger groups (6 - 8) and take turns keeping a watch during sleeping periods.

Be watchful at all times. Report polar bear encounters, sightings, tracks and signs to Parks Canada staff as soon as possible. Use a radio or satellite phone if possible.

If you are nervous about bears, or uncertain of your ability to deal with them, consider hiring a guide. Guides are knowledgeable and experienced at travelling in bear country. When hiring a guide, ask about their experience, how they will avoid encountering polar bears, and their plan of action should you encounter a bear.