Father Killed by Polar Bear After Dad Sacrifices Himself To Save His Young Children


Every day we take our lives into our own hands. Each time you get into your car to drive somewhere, use heavy machinery, or traipse through nature, you’re potentially putting yourself in harm’s way.

Even the most mundane tasks can be dangerous, but fortunately — most of the time — we go about our days without worrying about the “what-ifs.”

But when we face imminent danger, our actions determine what kind of person we really are. Will we run, or will we stand and fight?

On Tuesday, 31-year-old Aaron Gibbons was out searching for tern eggs on Sentry Island, located in Hudson Bay in Nunavut, Canada. His young children were with him.

Tern eggs are a special treat — for both humans and other animals. As Gibbons and his children were on the hunt for the delicious eggs, another creature started hunting them.

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A polar bear had found them and charged one of the children. Gibbons told his kids to run back to their boat and placed himself directly in the charging bear’s path, even though he was armed with nothing other than a father’s love.

His kids ran back and frantically radioed for help, but by the time people arrived, Gibbons had already been killed.

Because of his brave and selfless action, his children survived. The family is grieving, but relatives are using this tragic situation to bring awareness and change to the area.

Gibbons’ uncle, Gordy Kidlapik, has been the main voice through all of this. He tweeted out that his qangiag (nephew) was a hero.

“The bear surprised him and his children, so he put himself between them and the bear to let them escape,” he wrote.

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He thinks he knows why this attack took place. He says that polar bears have become less and less afraid of people over the years, and he has not been shy with his theories.

“Bears are losing whatever fear they have of humans. It’s very different from 10 or 15 years ago,” he said. “Based on my experience and others I’ve talked to, bears would run away from the sound of an ATV or snowmobile.”

“Today, bears are not doing that. They hang around. They won’t run away. They’ll go on the trail beside you.”

He tagged Churchill Wild, a service that offers up-close and personal encounters with polar bears, in his post. “We are just north of Churchill and the same bears you allow to approach close to the tourists migrate through our town when coming from south,” he said.

Churchill responded, saying that it wasn’t possible that they were involved in the attack.

“Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family,” the CEO wrote. “This incident didn’t happen near Churchill or near any Churchill Wild properties and didn’t involve the company in any way and so we are unable to comment on it.”

Kidlapik countered with “We’re not blaming Churchill Wild for what is happening, but it is a factor.”

Overall, polar-bear-related deaths seem to be decreasing. The last fatal attack was in 1999, and according to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, there have been only 20 deaths from 1870 to 2014.

The family needs time to remember and grieve the loss of Gibbons, but his children will have no doubt that their father’s love for them was undying.

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