Port Lock, Alaska (AFP) – A polar bear’s hunt for food has been turned into a horror movie after a polar bear was killed by a car driver in the middle of the night, a local newspaper reported.
“A polar bear killed by an auto driver” on Wednesday was followed by a dramatic scene on the road outside the town of Portlock, Alaska, where a polar explorer had taken a photograph of a polar hunt on Thursday night.
“They are trying to capture it for their research,” local resident and author Scott Tait told local media.
“It’s a big, big thing.”
Local resident and Alaska Wildlife Federation director Dave Tipton told Al Jazeera the driver, a father of four who did not want to be named, had apparently been driving along the highway with his car headlights on.
“The driver just stopped, he said ‘I just saw a polar cub in the road’, he was about a metre (yards) away,” Tiptons said.
“And he was just kind of staring at the road, just looking at it for a bit.
And he didn’t look back.
“He was kind of in a rush,” Tiltons said, “to get the camera out and photograph something that he could then send it to his wife.” “
She said, ‘Oh my god, there’s a polar animal, the driver just killed it’.” The driver reportedly told police he had taken the photo in order to document the hunt.
“He was kind of in a rush,” Tiltons said, “to get the camera out and photograph something that he could then send it to his wife.”
According to the local newspaper, the incident began when the driver was spotted in the area by a local fisherman who had a Polar Bears in his yard.
“When he saw that the polar bear in his field was gone he thought it was probably a cub,” the newspaper said.
However, it later emerged that the driver had not taken the photograph of the polar hunt, which was taking place in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
“But the polar hunter was able to film his encounter with the polar animal,” the paper said.
The local mayor, Tom Muhlbach, told Aljazeera that the man was the owner of the vehicle and was not involved in the hunt, despite a statement from the mayor stating that the truck was towed out of the area.
Muhler said that the car was later towed away, but that no charges would be laid against the driver.
“This is a very serious situation.
We don’t know what happened, we’re going to have to wait and see what we do with the evidence,” he said.
Al Jazeera’s Will Ragan, reporting from Anchorage, said that while it was possible that the hunt was a misunderstanding, it was likely to be one of many that have taken place in Alaska in recent years.
“We’re seeing a lot of incidents that don’t involve the animals themselves, but people getting into trouble for trying to take pictures or taking pictures of the animals,” he told Aljitm.
“That’s just part of our culture of seeing animals as objects.”
He added that it was “a very sad situation” and that there would be “a lot of families and community members” affected by the incident.