Friday, November 14, 2008

I love winter!!!!!!

It doesn't get much better than this! Just back from Churchill, Manitoba where I spent five wonderful nights sleeping on the tundra with some magnificent animals. The accommodations were rustic, a train style bunk bed with barely enough room to sit up but the view from my tiny window every morning made me smile.

Polar bears are typically loners. They roam the ice flows looking for seals to eat and rarely run into other bears. Yet, every fall the southern most population of polar bears gather near Churchill to wait for the Hudson Bay to freeze and provide them with a hunting ground.

The younger bears often rough house and tumble while the older bears sleep and conserve energy. All of the bears check the ice as it forms and prepare their systems to eat again. They dig up kelp and chew and chew. Researchers think the kelp provides iodine and perhaps beneficial bacteria which helps to restart the bears digestive systems. One thing is obvious... it gets things moving right along.

A great organization that is working with the bears is Polar Bears International. Check out their website at: http://www.polarbearsinternational.org/

1 comment:

Stephen said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts about your trip to Churchill, Rebecca. I'm sure it's an amazing place, and what an experience to see so many polar bears, where I hope to visit someday.

And I totally agree with you about PBI--a well-respected organization that bridges scientific knowledge, conservation and protection actions, and educational awareness.