Polar bear safety
Nanuq, the great white bear, is found in many of Canada’s northern national parks and in some national historic sites. Whenever bears and people occupy the same area, conflict can arise. Polar bears and people have coexisted for thousands of years but contact between the two must be minimised to continue this legacy. Successful polar bear conservation requires your co-operation.
Polar bears may be encountered at any time of the year and in any area of Auyuittuq, including glaciers. The more people in your party, the less likely you will encounter a bear. Groups of up to 12 people are permitted. In Auyuittuq National Park, polar bears are most active in and along the coast of Davis Strait. Be particularly cautious in March/April when females with cubs are emerging from their dens and August to November when the sea ice is gone and bears are forced ashore. When in North Pangnirtung Fiord we recommend travelling at least 3-4 hours inland before camping, if possible.
Each encounter with a polar bear is unique. Good judgement, common sense, and familiarity with polar bear behaviour are required in all situations. This information provides guidelines for avoiding and dealing with polar bear encounters. For your safety and the safety of the bears, please read this section carefully and seriously consider the risks involved with travel in polar bear country.
By choosing to travel in polar bear country you not only accept the associated risks, but also the responsibility to alter your plans, actions and attitudes to accommodate these magnificent animals.
If you choose to travel in polar bear country, take the necessary precautions. The more people in your group, the greater the chances of deterring a bear. Read the following pamphlet carefully: