Polar bear stats reflect a slight rise in numbers though most polar bears have not moved much since the last report. There have been individual animals recently hazed and darted in the town of Churchill and Polar Bear Alert will be ramping up surveillance as the polar bear season progresses. We are excited to share all the highlights and images from Churchill, the polar bear capital of the world.
In Churchill, when a bear breaks into a cabin or outbuilding, Polar Bear Alert is called. On July 18, 2018 the call was made and Conservation officers investigated. No bear was located that day however roughly a week later a bear was captured in a culvert trap set by the officers in the area.
July 26th Manitoba Conservation officers approached a trap and realized quickly they had a bear inside. Once they examined the trap more closely they were quite surprised. Instead of the usual polar bear captive, they had trapped a Barren – ground grizzly bear! After spending part of the day in the polar bear holding facility, the animal was airlifted and released near the Manitoba – Nunavut border to the north.
The male grizzly weighed 388 lbs and was equipped with a GPS ear tag and lip tattooed to track its movements. The GPS will transmit over the next four months and researchers will be able to study its migration pattern. Barren – ground grizzlies are Protected under the Endangered Species and Ecosystems Act.
Polar bear season is nearly year round in the town of Churchill on the shores of the massive Hudson Bay. Polar Bear Alert officers are on the job working tirelessly to secure the town from wandering polar bears. What an amazing job they do protecting churchillians and travelers to Churchill. This video gives some incredible insight into their job and what it takes to be a Polar Bear Alert officer! Enjoy!
Churchill has polar bear alert to protect residents and tourists from harm. Grise Fiord, Nunavut’s northernmost community with a population of 148, may soon have muskoxen alert for the same reason! Two muskoxen have been seen along the coast and another has been a hindrance near the airport runway.
Grise Fiord mayor Meeka Kigutak says the muskoxen are likely on a natural migration path though are very territorial. There’s a chance they will move away from the town on their own but are fair game for residents if they come closer and linger. “The wildlife office has advised us that anyone in our community can catch the two muskox.”, Kigutak says.
Kigutak says the community of Grise Fiord is already a little on edge following the apparent tracking of a local woman by a polar bear last winter. Over a decade ago a child teasing a muskoxen was injured when the animal charged him. Muskoxen have sharp tusks and become aggressive when cornered or threatened. No incidents have been reported since.