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Well-known Canadian Inuit actor shoots polar bear in self-defense

CBC NewsEye on the Arctic

A man from the community of Iglooklik in Canada's eastern Arctic territory of Nunavut, was forced to shoot a polar bear in self-defence after it came too close to his cabin.

Natar Ungalaaq, an Inuk actor well-known for his role in "Atanarjuat" (The Fast Runner), said on Wednesday that he woke to an alarming sight -- a bear was staring into his cabin.

He says he shot the bear when it looked in through a window without glass in his porch area.

Ungalaaq said he was scared to be that close to the animal.

"I had an experience of shooting that bear you know, almost naked you know. The last movie that I was [in I was] all naked but this time I had to use shorts to get out from my bed, and shoot that bear but, last night I was not smiling," he said.

Ungalaaq says he distributed the meat to the community. Since it was a defence kill, he's not sure what will become of the hide.

Ungalaaq estimates the bear was seven feet or more in height.

Igloolik has had many problems with polar bears this year. The hamlet says 11 came into town Wednesday and another three today. Four have been killed.

The community hired a polar bear monitor to keep the animals away.

The Government of Nunavut is now investigating.

This story is posted on Alaska Dispatch as part of Eye on the Arctic, a collaborative partnership between public and private circumpolar media organizations.