Friday, February 19, 2010

Polar Bears at the Great White Bear Lodge

These images come from Ed Bouvier, who drives the Tundra Buggy and lives at the Great White Bear Lodge Camp, Churchill, Manitoba.

He has just packed up to come home after spending 45 days on the Tundra.

Eds comments were that the bears all appear healthy and fat this year. He also indicated he has never seen so many groups of bears at the Lodge that get along and even sleep in heaps together as they wait for Hudson Bay to freeze over. Quite an amazing place!

The Great White Bear Lodge is actually a train of cars with big soft tires that they tow out and park on the Tundra, often under the constant glow of the northern lights.

This is the spacious lounge car but there are also sleeping cars and a kitchen and dining room.

Sunrise and sunset are usually spectacular even though it is in the minus 20 range.

People sleep at the Lodge and head out every day in Tundra Buggies looking for bears. These ones were like squeegee kids and were cleaning the tundra buggy.

The bears loaf around for weeks just waiting for the ice to freeze so they can get out and hunt for seals. At this stage they have probably not eaten since June or July.

And because the sea is so salty the ice takes a long time to freeze before it supports the weight of a bear.

Whats all this fuss about a Polar Bear dip, anyway?

The big males spar but seldom hurt each other. Later they will fall asleep together.

Kissing cousins

My, my, what big teeth you have

Single white female looking for companionship Any man will do!

Same gal after the sun came up

Other denizens of the arctic like to hang around the Lodge too like this Arctic Fox.

Or these Mirror Wolves.

Long-tailed Weasel.

Moms even bring their cubs of the year to the camp in spite of the big males.

This shaggy guy is very curious and dirty too.

It appears the Camp is of great interest and every angle is explored. Ed told me they even climb the flagpole and eat the flag!!!

This guy found a gap by the generator car and was interested in nabbing a passing drumstick for an overdue supper.

Whenever outside work is required they call this guy to come out. It looks like he is pushing the bears away.

Apparently this may be a new record with 15 bears all grouped together.

Thanks Millie McG.

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