Every night at 10:00, the town siren wails a warning. Move inside children, adults too. It’s best to heed the warning as the denizens of the ice have moved ashore and they are the world’s largest land carnivore.
Car horns formed a cacophony of noise that sounded like a wedding or celebration; but not at 11:00 at night. Following the horns were gunshots and small explosions. The conservation folks were chasing the bear, hazing it so it would leave town. Later there was another, and early in the morning another yet.
The town – Churchill – rests on the western shores of Hudson Bay, just north of the 58th parallel. While sub-arctic, its environment is very arctic in nature. It happens to sit in the area where one of the world’s largest concentrations of polar bears comes ashore each spring to await the autumn freeze.
Polar bears usually eat ring seals and don’t typically hunt humans. But there are delinquent, old, sick, and hungry bears that will attack, as well as females with cubs that feel threatened.
So the siren sounds a warning and the town’s people heed it – there can be bears roaming the town on any night.