07/14/2015 08:07 EDT | Updated 07/14/2016 05:59 EDT

Advancing Iqaluit polar bear fatally shot by wildlife officer

An Iqaluit wildlife officer fatally shot an advancing polar bear near Iqaluit's old cemetery and breakwater early Tuesday morning, after the animal was seen roaming near a residential area.

The bear was shot on the sea ice near Nobles Beach, at the end of Sinaa Street.

Iqaluit's wildlife office received a call at 2:45 a.m. about a bear being sighted near the city causeway. There were several more reported sightings over the next three hours, close to people's homes in the vicinity of the breakwater, according to Nunavut's Department of Environment.

At 5:45 a.m., the bear was located by the conservation officers on the tidal flats.

"The bear began advancing towards one of the officers at a distance of 20 feet, posing an immediate risk to the officer's life," the department said. "The officer fired one shot to kill the bear."

Meat to be shared

Afterward, local hunters could be seen stripping and cleaning the carcass of the bear on the rocky shore.

The department says the meat will be distributed by the Amarok Hunters and Trappers Association.

Yesterday, wildlife officers chased a bear from the Telesat site towards the Sylvia Grinnell River and on to the sea ice.