A polar bear mother and her two cubs walk along the shore of Hudson Bay near Churchill, Man. in this file photo. Pack ice conditions in Newfoundland and Labrador are causing bears to wander into communities and have led to two bears being shot and killed in the past week. — File photo by The Canadian Press
A recent polar bear attack that’s driving a safety policy review in the Torngat Mountains National Park didn’t keep hikers away.
Park Superintendent Judy Rowell (ROW’-ell) says visits continued to increase this summer as staff review all options, including making armed bear guards mandatory.
Lawyer Matt Dyer from Maine is recovering from neck and jaw injuries after a polar bear attacked him July 24 as he slept in a tent.
One question is whether outfitters that supply hikers are passing on Parks Canada warnings that armed guards are strongly advised.
Rowell says only Inuit guides are allowed to carry firearms in the park and can advise groups about wildlife.
She says about 600 people visited the remote park in northern Labrador last year and those numbers are increasing.
Dyer was with a group of hikers who had no armed guard but scared the attacking bear off with a flare.