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Special Report filed by AAF Correspondent: J. David Varty
from the CBC, Canada

    Tourists fight polar bear with pocket knife

WebPosted Fri Jul 27 22:32:49 2001

IQALUIT, NUNAVUT - A remote territorial park was closed on Baffin Island Friday after two campers were cut in a polar bear attack.

A man and a woman were flown to hospital in Iqaluit, about 100 kilometres away. They're expected to be OK.

Two other people in the tent were not hurt.


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The tourists were jarred from their sleep around 3 a.m. when the bear smacked their tent, according to the local hunters and trappers association.

The campers said they fought the animal off with a pocket knife, and then ran to an RCMP detachment for help.

Wildlife officers said it's unusual for a polar bear to be this far inland in July. They used aircraft to try to track down the bear, which is believed to have been injured in the attack.

Nunavut's Department of Sustainable Development ordered the Katannilik Territorial Park Reserve closed until further notice.

People who live in nearby Kimmirut have been warned not to wander outside their community.

Last weekend, guides shot and killed a polar bear in northern Labrador after it tried to enter a tent full of tourists from Europe.

Written by CBC News Online staff

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