Manitoba Conservation officer sedates a polar bear with a dart. Rhonda Reid photo.
Polar bear looking for cover among the rocky coastal area in Churchill. Rhonda Reid photo.
On the trail of a rogue polar bear in Churchill. Rhonda Reid photo.
Darted polar bear still putting up a fight. Rhonda Reid photo.
A polar bear nearing the town limits was darted and sedated from a helicopter by Manitoba Conservation officers today. The bear would not be taken easily, however. The chase took over an hour and two sedation darts were needed to bring this polar bear into custody. This bear charged a Conservation vehicle and then was finally brought under control and transported to the Polar Bear Holding Facility. The bear has since been released.
The Hudson Bay is not cooperating for the hungry polar bears in the Churchill region. As you can see in the notes by Conservation officers, Churchill is not so safe these days. Hopes are high that the ice will return and remain the rest of the winter once we are through this period. Anxious polar bears on the land and in the Polar Bear Holding Facility will eagerly migrate their once formed! This extended ice – free period will affect the southern Hudson Bay polar bear population in some way. It will be quite interesting to see what transpires in years to come.
Polar bear mother and cub resting on the Precambrian shield in Churchill. Katie de Meulles photo.
Ice map of the Hudson Bay region showing very little ice in the bay. Environment Canada image.
Here are the polar bear stats for the past week in Churchill. There’s still good numbers of bears in the Polar Bear Holding Facility. South winds might add a twist to the polar bear numbers on the coast and out at Cape Churchill. We will keep everyone posted on the affect the weather has on the polar bears in Churchill over the next couple of weeks!
Polar bear occurrences in Churchill are becoming more frequent as bear numbers are growing in anticipation of the Hudson Bay freeze – up. The Polar Bear Holding facility is at half – capacity with two bear lifts scheduled for Monday and Tuesday at 1:30 for each. Temperatures are supposed to drop later this week and the cold should be consistent from then on into the heart of the northern winter. This polar bear season has been an odd one for sure with the moderate warmth for the first half of the season. All in all we still have amazing wildlife action with polar bears across the Churchill Wildlife Management Area!
Polar bear statistics for the week. Manitoba Conservation image.
A polar bear waiting patiently for the hudson Bay to freeze. Michelle Viengkone photo.
Just when you thought it was safe to walk the streets of Churchill polar bear season has reincarnated itself. Well, not quite that dramatic or mysterious, more like prevailing south winds that pushed the pack ice back into the immense Hudson Bay. This will most likely be a short – lived reprieve as the ice will surely pack in within the week. Northerly winds are forcasted. Most polar bears are already on the ice though there are some still lingering around. Manitoba Conservation statistics below show there are still 20 polar bears in the holding facility. Soon they all will be released to join the rest on the Hudson Bay ice pack. Polar bear season is not defined by travelers coming to see polar bears in their Natural Habitat but rather by when bears are able to access the winter environment in which they live and feed for survival!
Weekly Manitoba Conservation polar bear statistics. Manitoba Conservation image.