RCMP confirm they are looking for missing man after bear encounter near Tulita

An RCMP patrol vehicle. (CKLB file photo.)

RCMP have now confirmed they are investigating a report of a bear encounter near the Sahtu community of Tulita as well as a missing person.

Police state in a news release that at approximately 7:45 am, Thursday, RCMP received a signal from an emergency communications device.

The location was about 50 km south of Tulita, and is only reachable by water or air.

CKLB has learned the site is along the Mackenzie River.

Weather conditions prevented travelling by water, police said.

They add the GNWT’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) is also involved in the investigation due to the report of the bear encounter.

RCMP and ENR eventually travelled to the location by helicopter.

“A woman at that scene reported to Mounties that her travelling companion had an encounter with a bear and the man was missing after the encounter,” police stated. “The woman was able to make contact with another party, travelling in the same area, and requested assistance. The party activated their emergency communications device. The woman and the travelling party have since been extracted from the area.”

CKLB first told the public about this story Thursday after connecting with the Toronto-based brother of the female canoeist who found the distraught woman on the shoreline.

She says the woman was extremely emotional, having just seen her partner pulled into the bush by what she said was a grizzly bear.

The B.C. woman who discovered the distraught woman was on a canoe trip with her partner, their two kids and two other men.

RCMP along with ENR and possibly other partner agencies continue to search for the missing man.

His name and hometown have not been released.

Due to the remote location, police are not requesting public assistance, and will continue to work with partner agencies.

As this is an ongoing situation, and police say updates will be provided when available.

Just this week in the Legislative Assembly, Mackenzie Delta MLA Frederick Blake pleaded with the ENR minister to get something done about problem grizzlies in Aklavik before someone is hiut of killed.

Some residents of the northern part of the Northwest Territories are saying there appears to be more grizzly bears around this seasoin than usuul.

However, an ENR official says bear complaints are actaully down over previous years.



About the Author

John McFadden
John has been in the broadcast journalism industry since the 1980s. He has been a reporter in Yellowknife since 2012 and joined CKLB in January of 2018. John covers the crime and court beat as well as reporting on other areas including politics, business, entertainment and sports. He won seven national community newspaper awards while he was a journalist with Northern News Services Limited (NNSL). John worked in Ontario before coming North including stints as a TV sportscaster in Peterborough and senior news writer for CBC and CTV in downtown Toronto.