Coral Harbour couple escapes polar bear attack with the help of a pair of mittens

Polar bear

An elderly couple recently discovered that a pair of mittens was their best defence against a polar bear that seemed intent on attacking them.

Natuk Paniyuk, 67, and her husband Mark, 71, residents of Coral Harbour, Nunavut, had gone to a lake to collect water when they found themselves face to face with an angry polar bear.

“There it was standing, growling, with its mouth wide open,” Paniyuk told the CBC. “I yelled and it was so close I could see the teeth.”

Paniyuk says the bear came towards her, and that she ran to her husband, who brandished a pocket knife at the animal. Mark Paniyuk tried to stab the bear, but it repeatedly moved out of the way. Then, in a flash of inspiration, Natuk Paniyuk threw her mitts past the bear, which took the bait and chased them.

The Paniyuks then threw rocks at the bear and ran to their truck, where they had a shotgun. With a few warning shots, they managed to scare the bear away for good.