Polar Bear Blog – Northwest Winds

Big winds are coming from the Northwest today, probably gusting to 80km an hour or so, swirling up the Hudson Bay, shaking houses, rattling buggies and bringing winter hurtling down to Churchill. After a few days of warmer weather, there’s a nice dusting of snow on the ground again and the permafrost at least feels frozen now.

There’s a few more bears around, and probably more will show up after this wind; a not-so-subtle signal that the ice is on its way. Once again, the bears are well spread out, some in buggyland, some along the coast near the Ithaca shipwreck and the usual behemoths at Brian Ladoon’s dogs. Another year of proof that closing the Churchill garbage dump was a good thing or, I suppose, ending the policy of burning garbage during ‘bear season’ was a good thing. For a second year in a row, the Polar Bear Alert’s bear encounters are way down.

This is not to say that bears aren’t around, there were two family units by L5, our garbage storage building but one of the mothers was caught in a polar bear culvert trap there, a sign that there was no other food accessible than the seal bait in the trap itself. As for the garbage, it sounds like Tundra Buggy has decided to fly out some of the recyclable materials generated by their tours. This is definitely an idea whose time has come, considering the inflated amount of garbage generated by our tourist season. Natural Habitat is also looking at flying out recycling but I’m trying to find a source in Winnipeg to pick it up for them…

And, what would bear season be without a good bear in town story. On Thursday night (I think…), a polar bear walked right down Kelsey Boulevard, the main drag in Churchill. People watched it from the deck at the Seaport Bar until Polar Bear Alert caught up with it. Its a good thing most bears are tolerant because there’s a lot of parkas stuffed with tourists walking around right now…

As for Camp Nanuq, no bears yet, knock on wood. I’ve seen them across the lake, across the road but not at my place, the word must be out about Milo and MoonUnit…

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