If you see one or more cubs (sometimes females give birth to twins), you are in an extremely dangerous situation. Never come between a sow and her cub(s)! Polar bear sows are extremely protective mothers. They guard their babies not only from other animals, but also from males of their own species, who are known to kill and eat young polar bears.
If you happen to come upon a cub by accident--while out hiking--immediately look around for the mother and back yourself out of the situation, moving in whatever direction gets you from between sow and cub as quickly as possible without appearing to flee. Female polar bears are fiercely protective of their cubs, more so than mother grizzley bears.
One of the sightings in July 1996 involved someone who found himself in the presence of a cub. He looked around for its mother and saw her glaring at him from behind a bush. He turned around and immediately walked away, with all, due, deliberate speed. It was generally agreed among locals sitting at the table in the CNSC dining room that he was foolish to have turned his back on the female. However, all's well that ends well. He survived this encounter intact.
Go to Polar Bears as Peeping Toms
Return to Bear Lore
Return to Reasons to visit Churchill.
Return to Churchill, Canada