In general, polar bears are dangerous creatures to come face-to-face with out in the wild, but a hungry polar bear is far more scary. If they happen to be really hungry or feel threatened, they’ll kill — and eat — a human without giving it a second thought.
For people living in the Kivalliq Region of Nunavut, Canada, they know this all too well. Recently, more and more bears have been wandering into this Inuit hamlet. Around this time of the year, when the pack ice forms over the Hudson Bay in the fall, their search for food begins, as they have been starving for seals after a summer with nothing to eat on the tundra. Sometimes, this can create problems for people in the community.
Aside from Nunavut just being in the far North, where severe weather conditions are the norm, residents have to constantly deal with the threat of being attacked by a polar bear. Nanavut is just about 155 miles from Churchill, Manitoba, which is nicknamed “Polar Bear Capital of the World.”
This year, the community is forcing children to trick-or-treat indoors during Halloween, fearing the safety of the children if they were to go door-to-door requesting candy. After all, they can’t all be walking around with high-powered rifles just in case of an incident.
Over here in our neck of the woods, children are often discouraged from going door-to-door because parents are afraid some weirdo is going to kidnap their kid or give them candy laced with cocaine. In Nunavut, parents don’t want to risk having their kid eaten or mauled by a polar bear.
A zoo is pretty much the only place where it’s safe for a human to get anywhere near a polar bear, as sad as that may be.
Steve England, the Hamlet’s SAO, says, a majority of Arviat residents support the idea.
Picture 1,200 kids going door to door in Arviat in the middle of polar bear season. It’s a pretty obvious conclusion of what tragedies could come out of that. We’re just trying to safeguard the younger population by offering an alternative.
It looks as if all Halloween festivities will be held at the community hall, where people will be able to enjoy candy, face painting, a haunted house and prizes. Children will also be given shuttle rides from their homes to the hall — just another safety measure.
Despite the precautions taken, in the last 30 years, it has been estimated that only eight people have been killed by polar bears in United States and Canada.