Day two of our Lords of the Arctic program started with dog sledding.
This was the first time we spent extended time outside and the temperature was -23°C.
I took off my gloves to snap a photo of this gray jay
A minute later, my fingers froze.
The dogs were friendly and were quite excited to see us.
The ride was interesting but we wished it could be longer.
In the afternoon, we went for a helicopter tour
to get an aerial view of the Hudson Bay
seeing bears from above the air.
Some of them lodging on floating ice.
Some by the tundra buggy
Others napping among the bushes
We didn’t see as many bears as we did on the first day, but it was good to get a different perspective from up and above.
Lords of the Arctic: The Ecology of Hudson Bay’s Polar Bears
Instructor: Rupert Pilkington
Witness the annual migration of Churchill’s polar bears. Every October and November, polar bears congregate in the Churchill area to await the return of the sea ice and access to their preferred prey – the ringed seal. Spend two full days touring the Churchill Wildlife Management Area aboard a custom-built tundra vehicle. On the first day, course participants will enjoy an excellent firsthand view of polar bears in their natural habitat. On the second day, you will assist one of our visiting researchers with behavioural observations of the bears, collecting data as part of a long-term study contributing to our knowledge of these magnificent animals. Each evening, in-depth presentations by bear biologists explore this remarkable animal and the challenges they are facing in a warming climate. And if that were not enough, this program also includes a 45 minute helitour along the rugged coastline of Hudson Bay, an afternoon of dog sledding and a tour of the community, including the world-famous Eskimo Museum and its renowned collection of historic and contemporary Inuit art and artifacts. This is our most popular program and all proceeds support scientific research in Churchill. Book early, this program is known to sell out fast!
Note: Hudson Bay helicopters not only offer tours for people, they are also used to transport ill-behaved polar bears. These bears who got too close in testing the town limit, are first incarcerated in the Polar Bear Compound, then sedated, airlifted and dropped off about 50 kilometer north of town. Sometimes they make their way back and have to be relocated again.