Although it is common in many parts of the Arctic mainland, particularly farther to the west, aklaq was seldom seen by Inuit from the Eastern Arctic islands. When asked about aklaq, one Igloolik man replied:
It is right, once in a long while farther south, that they used to sight them. It is said that it is astonishing. They usually frequent areas that do not get as cold as we get. They live where winter also sets in, but in places where the sun remains year-round. It is said that, like a ground squirrel, they make their den on sandy areas, not in snow banks like polar bears. There are usually sandy mounds so they would dig themselves a den in the lee side. Their feet are much thinner than those of polar bears. Though they have plenty of meat elsewhere, their feet are much thinner (IOHP 454).