14 October 2014

On Polar Bear Patrol in Kaktovik

On polar bear patrol in Kaktovik, big bear makes for tense moment 

Ruby Kaleak was at her part-time job on Kaktovik’s roving “polar bear patrol” Friday when a whispery call came over the VHF radio.

“Qanitchaq, nanuq,”  was all she could hear: arctic entryway, polar bear.

Ruby Kaleak heads out on polar bear patrol in Kaktovik, Alaska. Flora Rexford photo


Kaleak and her co-worker hopped in the Ford pickup they use when on patrol. Among their other equipment is a 12-gauge shotgun with beanbag and firecracker slugs to haze polar bears away from people in the Inupiat village of 300.

They found a house near the lagoon that they suspected the call might have come from. It was about 11 p.m. and dark.

“We parked and looked all over for bears,” Kaleak said. “I myself was about to jump out of the truck and go check inside the arctic entryway.”

Just then, she saw a shadow. From inside the entryway, the head of a polar bear popped up. Its body filled the doorframe.

“I was shocked. It was humongous,” Kaleak said. “Just the neck and head was half the size of me, and I’m 5 (feet) 2 (inches ).”


Follow the link for the rest of the story. 

8 comments:

eiaftinfo said...

She kinda looks "snack sized" . . . . just sayin' . . .

Rev. Paul said...

eiaftinfo, I had the same thought. :)

threecollie said...

And here I worry about coyotes

Rev. Paul said...

threecollie, understood. These are just a bit bigger.

PioneerPreppy said...

Monkey with a stick (even bite sized monkeys) trumps animal instinct every time. Towards the end of the article she mentions the bears are not afraid of the vehicles but when they jump out with the firearm they run....

I still say it is hardwired into all animals brain to run when the monkey pulls out a stick.

Rev. Paul said...

Preppy, the bears around most villages are accustomed to having shots fired in their direction, too.

Sandy said...

Rev Paul,

Some of those polar bears are massive. I would be prepared if living there. As long as they don't bother me, I won't bother them.

Rev. Paul said...

I agree, Sandy. It wouldn't do to live there & try to ignore them. 1,600 pounds of hungry bear is rather insistent. :)