Growly? Fuzz Face? Big Tooth Sachs? The naming possibilities for a stuffed, eight-foot-tall polar bear from Sachs Harbour are almost endless. It’s now up to past and present guests of the Explorer Hotel to suggest a name for the nameless bear that has stood in the lobby of the hotel since 2012.

The one person who comes up with the best name will be awarded a special prize in the Explorer’s naming contest that opens in March.

“A Saturday night stay in the Aurora Suite – a signature suite that’s in the corner with its own balcony. Usually the rate for that room is $888. The next day they can come for brunch for two. We’re also having a polar bear carving being made by a local artist that they would also receive,” Jean Paquette, food and beverage manager at the Explorer told Yellowknifer.

The bear, standing at over 8 feet tall, was shot in Sachs Harbour in 2012 and stuffed by Robertson Artworks in Yellowknife. photo by Blair McBride


The bear was 20 years old when it was shot in March of 2012 by a hunter named Terence Lennie in Sachs Harbour, Paquette said.

Robertson Artworks in Yellowknife purchased the bear for $7,000 and it was transported here by plane. The taxidermist then sold the stuffed bear to the Explorer Hotel, said company owner Dean Robertson, who declined to say how much he sold it for.

For the contest, participants can submit a selfie of themselves with the iconic bear along with their name suggestion using the #explorerhotelbear or tag Explorer Hotel NWT.

Any guests who have stayed and taken the selfies can join the contest, and Paquette said his staff might have to sort through thousands of submissions.

“Customers have come from across Asia, Australia, the United States, etc. Maybe we’ll split them up and put in our suggestions for which name we believe is best,” he said.

Contestants will be judged based on the originality of their names and how creative they were in their selfies with the Explorer’s Ursus maritimus.

The contest opens on March 1 and ends on June 30. The winner will be announced in early July.

Blair McBride

Blair McBride covers the Legislative Assembly, business and education. Before coming to Yellowknife he worked as a journalist in British Columbia, Thailand and Ontario. He studied journalism at Western...

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