...Just not by me. Boo hoo. There is a very good reason for this though. The polar bears are in two locations right now, neither of which are in Churchill. The male polar bears have been out on the sea ice in search of food. The female polar bears are headed there right now. They are coming out of their dens with their cubs and going way out on the Hudson Bay.
There is a large polar bear population that lives in and around Churchill, in Western Hudson Bay. Since the population is high, the Canadians have collected a lot of research on the polar bear. The Churchill polar bears are one of the most studied large mammals in the world.
Two men, Dennis and Seth (aka the bear men), are here in Churchill conducting their polar bear research. I have been harassing them at meal time to tell me everything they know about polar bears. Finally today these two shy bear men shared some of their secrets. They go out twice a year for about 4 weeks and try to tag and track the polar bears. They have to take a helicopter to find the polar bears. Right now, they are looking for the females and cubs coming out of their dens. The reason for tagging the polar bears is so they can monitor their travel and also gather information, like polar bear standard measurements. So these two bear men have been lucky enough to see the bears but they cannot be persuaded to take me up in their helicopter as their official photographer.Track the bears with the bear men. http://polarbears.wwf.ca/tracker.htmlPolar Bear Facts
1. Polar bears are found all around the North Pole but have a high population right here in Churchill, on the Western Hudson Bay.
2. Adult males weigh 770-1500 lbs
Adult females weigh 300-550 lbs
Babies weigh 1.1 lbs at birthHow much do you weigh? How many of you equal one female or male polar bear?
3. They can be as tall as 9 feet on their hind legs. How tall are you? How many inches taller is a polar bear?
4. 25, 000 polar bears worldwide and 15, 000 in Canada. They are not endangered but considered threatened.
5. About the body -- The feet have small pads that are hairy to protect from ice and gripping. The claws are small. They teeth are sharp for gripping and grabbing.
6. The sharp teeth are needed to eat meat. The bears' appetite leans towards ringed seals. Also they have long, skinny necks with small ears so they can easily stick their head into the sea ice and capture the seals.
7. The polar bears live to an average of 20-25 years of age out in the wild.Year in the Life
April - May:
The polar bears mate on the sea ice.July:
Bears forced ashore by melting sea ice. They do not feed on land. They are forced to live off sea ice. Could you not eat for 6 months? What food would you miss the most?Late October-Early November:
Males begin to gather along the shore waiting for the sea ice to form.Late November-December:
1-3 cubs are born to the mother. They stay in the den for 2 months with the mother. This is not full hibernation but the mothers do slow down, do not eat, and their body temperature drops.February-March:
Mothers and cubs leave den and go out to the see ice. This is happening now.Compare my hand size and head size to the polar bears. How would you describe the similarities and differences?Since I have no polar bear pictures, check out this website for video and photographs. http://polarbears.wwf.ca/home.html#/media/