Polar bear safety

Ukkusiksalik National Park

Avoiding an encounter

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

Handling an encounter

What to do if your group encounters a polar bear in Ukkusiksalik, 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 Ukkusiksalik.

Deterrents and warning systems

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

Polar bears are far more abundant in Ukkusiksalik than in most other Arctic parks. Encounters are likely on any trip. Because of this extreme danger, visitors must travel in the park with a properly equipped and licensed guide who is experienced 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.

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 minimized to continue this legacy. Successful polar bear conservation requires your cooperation.

Each encounter with a polar bear is unique. Good judgment, 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.

Report polar bear sightings, tracks and signs to Parks Canada staff as soon as possible by radio or satellite phone. If immediate contact is not possible, please record detailed notes for later submission.

For more information, you can speak with our park staff, read the Safety in Polar Bear Country pamphlet  and watch the “Polar Bears: A Guide to Safety” DVD at the park office or distributed at www.magiclanternmedia.com.

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