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Polar Bear Blog – Churchill’s Polar Bears Are Okay

Well, I have been writing posts about Churchill's bears being 'okay' for a three or four years now and consequently have been labelled a 'denier' by some and misinformed by others but it turns out that, at least for now, Environment Canada agrees with me.  At recent Nunavut Wildlife Management Board meetings, Environment Canada stated that while the Western Hudson Bay polar bear population declined between 1984 and 2004, it has remained relatively stable for the last decade.  The currently accepted population estimate is 1030 bears. While Churchill's opinion and local … Continue Reading ››

Polar Bear Blog – This is the End.

Well, that's all she wrote for another season, ice is packed in and the bears are gone.  Time to catch up on blogs and sleep!  The south wind arrived a couple days late and was unable to push the ice out, simply opening up a few leads and attracting a few photographers waiting for a potential seal kill that never materialized. From what I can see, I would peg freezeup as November 13th this year, a couple days early but pretty much right on time.  There were a couple more days of bears but mostly they … Continue Reading ››
mom and cub

Polar Bear Blog – Reunited

Last Monday, I was working with a film crew making a travel segment for Brazil television.  Part of the story of Churchill and bears involves polar bear traps and Manitoba Conservation's Polar Bear Alert officers.  Officers are generally annoyed with but semi-tolerate film crews.  Of course, at the same time, Churchill would not have the international attention nor the conservation budget without these doc crews so there is a bit of an 'understanding'.  Those days are probably my least favourite part of the job because we are following officers on the daily routine instead of … Continue Reading ››

Polar Bear Blog – Scouting Cape Churchill

Yesterday, we were lucky enough to jump aboard a helicopter bound for Cape Churchill and check out how things are shaping up for the final wave of bears this season.  It was a bit of a lucky break as we exchanged a van tour on Saturday for a helicopter trip on Sunday... which is a pretty sweet deal when you think about it - I mean the  bears are way closer in a van than a helicopter...!! Cape Churchill is the proper name for the north-facing shelf that juts 50 miles out into Hudson Bay, stretching … Continue Reading ››

Polar Bear Blog – Halloween Already!

Polar Bear Alert trucks are already out patrolling the community, you can see polar bear culvert traps set out along the edge of town and a helicopter patrol is planned for 1:30pm.  Its Halloween in Churchill! The season has been flying by, hard to believe its half over and that 'real' season is upon us.  I have a Brazilian film crew flying in today and we'll be heading straight out to look for bears and catch the last light of day before he even checks in!  Another Japanese crew is out and about and an independent … Continue Reading ››

Polar Bear Blog – Hey Hey Saint Peter

For about a week or so, a very skinny bear was hanging out along the coast.  He looked to be in some pain, having a tough time walking and, well, there's honestly not much hope for him.  It is a bit of a sad sight to see as his hips constantly gave out or he slept the day away.  Loose skin hung over a still large but emaciated frame.  He earned the local nickname, Skinny Pete. This weekend, Skinny Pete sort of transformed into Saint Peter, or Peter the Great if you like.  Late one night, … Continue Reading ››
Watchful Mother

Polar Bear Blog – Family Matters

Well, this was a big 'bear day'.  We started early and 'chased' bears until almost dusk, not too often you see eight bears around this early in the season. Last night, after getting hopelessly stuck on the beach ourselves (rain go away), we came across a rental vehicle equally hopelessly stuck a little further east.  While we were pulling them out, they mentioned that a mother with two cubs was hanging out just in the rocks beside us - good to know... Anyway, we thought we would get a headstart this morning and be back there for … Continue Reading ››
Pretty Bear

Polar Bear Blog – Pretty Bear

After a pretty busy morning meeting the train and even more unpacking, we managed to get out for a quick bear tour in the afternoon.  Sure enough, Ithaca Cove managed to provide a pretty special encounter. Today, a young female was nestled in the rocks near the bay.  She was pretty content, nose pointing out to the water as the tide receded.  She had a tiny bit of blood on her lips and paws so that's a pretty good indication of some early season hunting success.  When she finally stood up, she looked to be in … Continue Reading ››

Polar Bear Blog and Churchill Manitoba Travel Guide