A man and a woman were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries early Friday, Nov. 1, resulting from a polar bear attack in Churchill, Manitoba, a town well known for its white bears, especially this time of year.
The attack in this town of 1,000, located on the shores of Hudson Bay, came after a 69-year-old man stepped outside his home to investigate a commotion at about 5 a.m., and ran to aid the victim, RCMP spokeswoman Tara Seel told the Canadian Press.
A 30-year-old woman, one of three pedestrians who had been confronted by the bear, was also injured. The incident occurred as the woman was leaving a Halloween party with friends.
Seel said officers from Manitoba Conservation tracked down the attacking bear and shot it.
“In the process of that tracking, another bear was shot and killed as well,” she said.
Just hours before the attack, dozens of Churchill youngsters were going house to house, trick or treating on Halloween night … which, as you might guess, requires special precautions in this region know among the world’s largest polar bear denning areas.
For the past 30 years, Churchill has undertaken its unique Halloween Polar Bear Patrol so youngsters may safely collect treats on October 31. The special patrol includes a strategic perimeter around the entire town and utilizes manpower from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Parks Canada, local ambulance and fire officials and the Canadian Rangers.
About a dozen fire trucks, ambulances and other vehicles park with their engines idling and spotlights shining, or they cruise the streets, to give children several hours of goody-gathering time.
In late October, while the Western Hudson Bay polar bear population’s annual migration to the ice is in full swing, costume selection takes on a unique significance. As a result, both predator and prey disguises are discouraged.
In just a couple of weeks, the massive bruins will locate a den and begin to hibernate for the long Canadian winter, but not before munching on an occasional seal—the species’ preferred snowpack meal.
So, it’s no surprise that costumes depicting some favorite polar bear delicacies are highly discouraged.
“To be honest with you, I’ve never seen a kid dressed up as a seal, but the message would be don’t dress up as a polar bear or a seal,” said Richard Romaniuk, district supervisor for Manitoba Conservation.
OK, it’s zombies or Spiderman.