Thursday, June 26, 2008

John gets to eat polar bear meat....

[Lorraine writes]: Well, John, lucky guy, got to try out polar bear meat yesterday. A polar bear wandered into the outskirts of town, and was shot. Some of the meat was brought to the shelter where John is working, so he got to eat his first polar bear meat.

Here is the CBC story, and a picture of the meat being carted away:

Children run for cover before polar bear shot near Iqaluit
Elementary students were on scavenger hunt when wandering bear spotted

Last Updated: Wednesday, June 25, 2008 | 6:12 PM CT Comments45Recommend32
CBC News

A polar bear sent dozens of elementary school students racing for safety before the animal was shot and killed Wednesday morning in a park just outside of Iqaluit.

The bear died only a few hundred metres from the pavilion at Sylvia Grinnell Territorial Park, which is about a kilometre from Iqaluit.

At the time, 37 kindergarten, Grade 1 and Grade 2 students from Nakasuk School were at the park for a year-end picnic.

"The students were up running on the hill here, and I was at the bottom watching them, and they were on a scavenger hunt," teacher Jason Rochon told CBC News on Wednesday.

"Two men started running down and waving their arms. And they were like, 'Get out of here, get back to the cabin!' So I was kind of wondering why they were upsetting the kids so much. And they were like, 'There's a polar bear! There's a polar bear!'"

Lazarus Awa and another summer student working with Nunavut Parks raised the alarm after Awa spotted the bear rooting through the contents of a garbage can near the Sylvia Grinnell River.

"This is my first time seeing [one] here in the park," Awa said. "I was so amazed, and it's a huge, old male polar bear."

Conservation officers and the RCMP arrived on the scene and decided that given so many people were in the vicinity of the polar bear, that there was no choice but to kill the animal.

Speaking in Inuktitut, conservation officer Johnny Nowdlak said attempts were made to scare the bear away with a warning shot, but it didn't work.

Nowdlak cited safety as the reason why they shot the bear, saying there were children nearby and summer visitors had set up about a dozen tents near the river.

The bear was shot in an area popular with tourists and residents. It then fell onto a ridge above the end of the park's road, overlooking the tents.

Nowdlak, who skinned the polar bear after it was killed, estimated that it was male, about 10 years old and approximately 2½ metres long. It appeared to be healthy and was likely looking for food in the park, he said.

The bear's meat and skin were delivered Wednesday afternoon to the office of the Iqaluit hunters and trappers association, where the meat was doled out to some lucky bystanders.


Karan said...

So . . . Is polar bear meat something you would want to eat again? I've eaten black bear, but the diet is very different.

Northern Chirp said...

Karan, we'd heard that polar bear was very fishy tasting, seeing that they eat mostly seal (and unlike black bears, not alot of vegetation). This made sense to me because, as you probably know, seal tastes very fishy. But John said it actually tasted like beef. The guys he worked with said they cook it for a long time first, to take the game taste out.