Polar bear safety

Quttinirpaaq National Park

Avoiding an encounter

Essential safety tips and how to plan ahead to reduce the risk of encountering polar bears in Quttinirpaaq.

Handling an encounter

What to do if your group encounters a polar bear in Quttinirpaaq, how to prepare, and how to get help in an emergency.

Choosing a safe campsite

Where to set up your tent, places to avoid, and best practices to prevent polar bears from approaching your camp in Quttinirpaaq.

Deterrents and warning systems

Bear spray, noisemakers, electric fences and other polar bear deterrents to keep your group safe in Quttinirpaaq.

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.

The frequency of polar bear encounters in Quttinirpaaq is low. However, the park contains polar bear habitat and bears may be encountered at any time of the year and in any area of the park, even on glaciers. The more people in your party, the less likely you will encounter a bear.

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.

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:

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