It was February 2006 in Ivujivik, meaning “Place where ice accumulates because of strong currents”, or “Sea-ice crash Area”. Nestled in a small, sandy cove, the village of 300 people on the shore of Hudson Bay in northern Quebec is surrounded by imposing cliffs that plunge into the tormented waters of Digges Sound. This is the place where the strong currents of Hudson Bay and the Hudson Strait clash.
The icy arctic air stung their skin and the twinkle of the first tiny pin pricks of light from the evening stars could just be seen. It was so cold that the snow beneath their feet squeaked as Lydia Angyiou and her two sons walked past the village community centre. A group of children playing street hockey nearby started shouting and pointing frantically. Ms. Angyiou, 41, turned around in time to set her eyes a polar bear sizing up her seven-year-old son.
Before the massive eight foot long, 700 pound arctic denizen could charge she ordered the children to run and immediately placed herself between the bear and her son. In a flash the raging beast was upon her as she began feverishly kicking and punching with all the fury her five foot nothing, 90 pound physique could muster. The bear swatted her in the face, raking her flesh with its enormous claws, and knocking her onto her back. Then it was suddenly on top of her. She could feel the blasts of its hot, stifling breath on her face and smell its foul, overpowering stench. Ms. Angyiou began kicking her legs in a bicycle motion. She was swatted once more and rolled over, and the bear advanced upon her again.
Siqualuk Ainalik hearing the commotion rushed to the street and seeing Ms. Angyiou wrestling with the Polar bear, he ran to his brother’s home grabbed a rifle and headed back. He fired a few warning shots diverting the bear’s attention from Ms. Angyiou just long enough for him to take aim and fire again and again. Each lethal missile hitting its intended target with deadly accuracy but the beast refused to die until finally Ainalik’s forth bullet buried itself deep in a vital organ felling the massive arctic carnivore.
With the aid of some neighbours, Ms. Angyiou made it to the home of Nelson Conn, a constable with the Kativik Regional Police Force. Remarkably, Ms. Angyiou suffered only a couple of scratches and a black eye.
Threaten a mother’s child you will “bear” her wrath.