After the military started its official withdrawal in 1964, the 'buffer zone' created by the Fort Churchill base was removed. Polar bears soon appeared in the surrounding communities - Churchill, Akudlik and Dene Village. Bears invaded the various garbage dumps and surrounding area. Churchill wasn't really quite sure what to do with them.
It was pretty wild times. Folks would drive out to the dump to watch (and picnic) with the bears. There are more than a few old photos kicking around of a young chap feeding a … Continue Reading ››
During a visit to Seal River Lodge a couple years ago, I had the chance to have a really close encounter with a younger male bear. Sitting close to the fence, I attracted this guy's attention by making eye contact and then slowly looking away - an old buggy driver trick. He came over and very gently and methodically, proceeded to check the entire fence for weakness. He would 'gnaw' at one section of the fence, then step back, think and try another one. It was a pretty neat insight into a bear's though … Continue Reading ››
Bears are starting to come ashore in Churchill. In early June, sea ice was reaching near record levels in Hudson Bay and Davis Strait. However, a late June heat wave and what looks like a lot of NW winds, have really opened things up along western Hudson Bay. You can see on the June 30 Sea Ice map below that NW Hudson Bay has really opened up even though about half the bay remains ice covered.
So, Churchill … Continue Reading ››
I know that often it seems that the Polar Bear Blog is kind of skeptical about climate change - its not my fault, there is a lot of ice on Hudson Bay this year... - but for the moss-huggers out there, here is a climate change update.
Word on the street is that a black bear was spotted on the ice behind the Town Complex hunting seals. This sounds a bit Churchill rumourish but black bears have actually been venturing out on the sea ice off the coast of Labrador … Continue Reading ››
Featured photograph, Polar Bear at Cape Churchill, courtesy of CanUK Images - Simon Gee Photography
Polar bears have been spotted from Churchill this morning. A mother with two cubs (probably the same one that got the bearded seal) were seen near Cape Merry
(the mouth of the river) and a couple more adults were spotted out on the ice. With the floe edge this close and this consistent, its no surprise that bears are very close to town. Given their current … Continue Reading ››
Today, we headed out to scout buggyland for the upcoming shoot (film, not bears). After a quick breakfast at Gypsy’s, we drove out to Tundra Buggy launch and wobbled out on Buggy #13.
I cannot deny that I have a bit of a hard time not being the driver aboard a buggy but it was a nice day. We saw about ten bears out there, a mix of families, lone females and males. One older bear, probably 20-25 judging by the massive size of her head, was absently nursing her two year old cub. Laying on … Continue Reading ››