While the major threat to polar bears today is global warming and pollution this wasn’t always the case. For many years the polar bear has been hunted and is still today by some local communities
Today in response to some of the problems faced by polar bears there is a international agreement between the countries of the United States, Canada, Norway, Denmark and Russia to limit the amount of polar bears that can be hunted each year by the local communities.
The indigenous people of the Arctic circle have long hunted polar bears. Polar bears have provided many important raw materials. The indigenous tribes which hunted polar bears include the Inuit, Yupik, Chukchi, Nenets, the russian Pomors and others.
Polar bear hunting was traditionally done with the help of hunting dogs. These hunting dogs would distract the polar bears. While the polar bears were being distracted the hunters would then spear the polar bears or shoot them with arrows at closer ranges.
After the polar bear was hunted nearly every part of the polar bear was used. The fur of the polar bear was used to sew trousers and was used by the nenet tribe too make galoshes like footwear which was known as tobok. The meat of the polar bear was eaten and the fat of the polar bear was used in food and also as fuel for lighting homes. Polar bear sinews were used as thread for sewing clothes.
The gall bladder and the heart of the polar bear were dried and used for medicinal purposes. The large canine tooth of the polar bear were highly valued as talismans.
The only part of the polar bear which was not used was the liver. The reason for this is that the polar bear liver has a high concentration of vitamin A and so is very poisonous.
The traditional subsistence hunting of the polar bear was on a small enough scale to not significantly effect the populations of the polar bears.
Read more about polar bears here
Also check out polar bear endangered