Monday, 15 February 2021

Polar bears get their special day under the spotlight

Just about every food and drink has its own special day on the calendar, but I must admit I was ignorant of the fact that February 27 is International Polar Bear Day. 

It is the time of year that polar bear mums and their newborn cubs snuggle together in snow dens across the Arctic; and is aimed at raising awareness and understanding of the challenges faced by polar bears in a changing world.

With more than 60% of the world's polar bears found in Canada, many Australians are longing for the time when they can fulfill their lifelong dream of safely encountering polar bears in the wild. 

Nunavut

It is easy to view polar bears throughout Nanavut, as all but one of the territory's communities are located by the ocean. Autumn is the best time to see them, as they gather on the shorelines waiting for sea ice to form.

Polar bears, or 'Nanuq' in Inuktitut, dwell on the floe edge, hunting for seals and other prey. Connect with a polar bear expert in a community like Pond Inlet, Resolute Bay, Arviat or Hall Beach. These guides know exactly how close you can get, and where you're likely to find them. 


Churchill, Manitoba

In Churchill, Manitoba, travel by land is probably the most common way to see the lords of the Arctic. Here you can climb aboard one of the all-terrain vehicles that stand over three metres tall and you'll feel like you're on top of the world. Check out: Frontiers NorthLazy Bear ExpeditionsGreat White Bear Tours

Alternatively, a smaller scale, open-air, low-impact tundra vehicle, called a 'rhino', works well to navigate the boggy lowlands and tidal flats and gets you closer to your goal of seeing bears.

Churchill is the only place in the world that offers a polar bear walking tour. 

Fun Facts

  1. Polar bears are the largest land carnivore: Males can weigh more than 700kg.
  2. Polar bears aren't actually white: Polar bears have black skin and hollow, colourless hair. Their hollow fur reflects light and traps the sun's heat to help keep them warm.
  3. Their movements might look slow and cumbersome but don't be fooled: Polar bears can reach speeds of up to 40kph on land and around 10kph in water.
  4. Shrinking sea ice is their biggest threat: The bears rely on sea ice as a platform to hunt prey like seals. Rising temperatures is causing sea ice to melt earlier.
  5. Click HERE to watch a live polar bear cam in Wapusk National Park, Manitoba.

See www.keepexploring.com.au

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