A Canadian man was mauled to death by a polar bear, as he struggled to protect his children from the attacking animal.
Aaron Gibbons was unarmed when the bear went after him in Nunavut, Canada's northernmost territory.
According to reports, Gibbons was enjoying the day with his children when the polar bear began charging .
The 31-year-old dad didn’t hesitate to put himself between the polar bear while ordering his young children to run to safety.
Gibbons was pronounced dead at the scene. Canadian police said the bear was later shot and killed.
“Definitely Aaron died a hero, he protected his children,” said Gibbons' cousin, Eric Anoee. “We are still in shock but we are resilient and we will go on and continue as a community.”
The last death from a polar bear attack in Nunavut was 18 years ago in Rankin Inlet.
Officials say while the focus right now is on supporting those affected, there is also a strong desire to find out what led to the attack, in order to prevent other similar events from happening.
“It's really just incredibly sad,” noted local politician John Main. “We're a small community and when something like this happens, it affects the whole community."
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