July 12, 2017 2:11 pm
Updated: July 12, 2017 2:18 pm

Polar bear attacks on humans likely to become more common: study

A polar bear is seen walking across the street in Churchill, Man.

Jonathan Hayward/CP

The first study done on polar bear attacks around the world concludes that the great Arctic hunters aren’t the enthusiastic predators of humans of popular myth.

Despite their reputation for stalking people like any other prey, the study found bears don’t usually go after them until the animals are already beginning to starve.

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Nearly two-thirds of the attacks studied were by bears in poor body condition.

The report by Polar Bears International warns that such bears are likely to become more common as vanishing sea ice reduces their ability to hunt seals.

Nearly nine in 10 attacks occurred between July and December, when sea ice is at its lowest level.

The report offers important advice for anyone being attacked: bears have been driven off by victims fighting back.

© 2017 The Canadian Press

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