From a distance polar bears may seem like passive animals, but with the climate changing rapidly, these animals are adapting with increasing violence.
In Manitoba, Canada, seeing polar bears around time of the year is no longer a rare occurrence.
This month, two people were violently mauled by two roaming bears in the middle of town.
Early in the morning on the 1st of November, a woman was returning to her home after a Halloween party. As she was walking back a polar bear pounced on her and resulted in the animal tearing off her ear.
Hearing a woman cry in the middle of the town centre, a passerby rushed to her rescue only to be attacked as well. The ice bear slashed the man and thus causing serious damage to his head and upper body.
There were approximately 12 people standing witness to the attack and had to think of methods of scaring the animal without approaching it.
They began to make as much noise as they could using pots, firecrackers and even yelling, hoping to scare away the bear. Unfortunately, the polar bear was unfazed and only ran off when one man charged towards the bear in his vehicle with the headlights on.
The man, Didier Foubert-Allen, said, “My heart was pounding out of my chest. I shot at the bear maybe four times when I realised it was not going anywhere.” He then had no choice but to resort to driving head-first into the polar bear.
This has not been the first instance of a polar bear finding its way into the town. Over 12 bears have been captured in the town centre and had to be held in a ‘polar bear jail’ until they could safely be returned to their natural habitats.
Specialists believe that these occurrences will only increase in the upcoming years, largely due to global warming. As the Arctic ice is melting, these bears are losing access to their hunting grounds and as a result, have begun to search elsewhere.
The number of polar bears living in the wild has been decreasing because of this. They have less access to their primary source of food, seals, and are slowly dying out as a result.
Starving polar bears are presenting unnatural actions, such as invading crowded towns, in addition to other previously unseen behaviour, such as cannibalism.
Governments are now working together to find a solution to this growing concern.
In the northern region of the world in countries like Norway, Russia and Canada, these attacks are becoming more frequent that in recent history. Over 100 attacks have been recorded, all of which, sadly, have caused serious injury to the victims.