Many have seen polar bears confined in the artificial environment of a zoo. However, a fortunate few have had the exhilarating experience of witnessing these fascinating and majestic creatures up close in their herbal habitat. Every fall, the small grain port of Churchill, Manitoba, on the west coast of Canada’s Hudson Bay will become a meeting factor for flora and fauna visitors, nature fans, photographers, and adventurers from around the sector who come to examine one of the top-notch thrills of nature, the polar bears of Churchill. Churchill, wherein the approximately a thousand residents are outnumbered through an anticipated 1200 polar bears, is located near the southern restrict of where they’re able to live year-round and is one of the most on hand places for one to look at polar bears within the wild, making Churchill the best location in the world to view polar bears in their herbal habitat.
After the spring thaw, the Hudson Bay endure population roams the tundra, ingesting little but berries, grass, and seaweed for the duration of the summer season months. In the autumn, whilst pregnant girls flow to denning regions, nonpregnant woman and male polar bears congregate around Churchill expecting the waters of Hudson Bay to freeze.
The freeze permits the polar bears to migrate over the ice packs in a direction to their wintry weather seal-searching grounds. Seals are the main food source for polar bears. According to Steve Domino, Field Director for Natural Habitat Tours, “Bears can’t hunt loose-swimming seals, and Churchill is one of the first places ice forms at the bay.” Domino, who has been leading polar bear excursions to Churchill for Natural Habitat Tours for 10 years, is a professional flora and fauna photographer who often works with scientists around the arena documenting their studies and has served as an ecotourism improvement representative for the Inuit network of Coral Harbor within the Northwest Territories in addition to a trainer to the National Audubon Ecology Camps in Maine.
Usually, polar bears are solitary creatures, but around Churchill, throughout October and November, one can see big numbers of them; that is why Churchill is known as the “Polar Bear Capital of the World.” According to Domino, vacationers can assume to peer anywhere from 2 to 50 polar bears at the tundra surrounding Churchill right now of year. “Although Churchill has a huge populace, there’s no guarantee as to how many bears we’ll see [on tour]. On common, we’ll see 12 or so bears, but its flora and fauna, so it’s unpredictable.”
Travelers observe the polar bears of Churchill from the safety and luxury of a tundra automobile, now and then referred to as a “tundra buggy.” Through the windows of a tundra buggy, travelers have the top-notch possibility to see younger men play combat in preparation for future opposition for buddies, mother bears discover the landscape with their cubs at their sides, and solitary adults lumber across the tundra. Often tundra motors are surrounded by curious polar bears nibbling on the tires or standing on their hind legs to look in on tourists. It is a truly unique and fantastic wildlife reveal. The bears reply to the tundra buggies in one in all three methods: they either absolutely forget about them, they method and investigate them, or they virtually depart due to the fact they do not want to be stricken. But the bears are inquisitive creatures in line with Domino. “It’s the pleasant enjoy while the bears come to take a look at out the tourists.”
Natural Habitat Tours gives several trips to view the polar bears of Churchill. According to Domino, what makes Natural Habitat Tours specific is excellent in their guides.
“We have high-quality publications inside the international. Our courses have extreme dedication to ecotourism and to giving humans the satisfactory experience that they could have.” Natural Habitat Tours, a protracted-time Supporting Member of The International Ecotourism Society, has made the practice of high ecotourism requirements a crucial part of its project and has been featured in many courses as one of the picks, accountable nature tour operators. Domino instructed Ecotravel.Com, “Ecotourism is evolutionary. We have a look at a motel or facility and spot what’s being performed if there’s a want for improvement, after which we try to encourage and facilitate that development. Clients count on that we’re doing something fantastic, that we are doing it for the gain of the area people and now not harming the environment.”
Putting their philosophy into movement, Natural Habitat Tours has assisted the arena’s pinnacle polar bear scientists from the Churchill Northern Studies Center and the University of Saskatchewan in acting essential studies. It is currently setting up a scholarship fund for polar bear research at the University of Saskatchewan. Natural Habitat Tours likewise runs with tundra buggy operators to create a manual on the ethics and standards of polar bear viewing for courses that drive tundra buggies. For Domino, efforts that include those are one of the most fun components of being involved with Natural Habitat Adventure’s tours. “I take a whole lot of delight in having this positive effect. That, to me, is ecotourism – having a wonderful effect.”
Natural Habitat Tours offers polar bear viewing not best thru tundra cars however by way of the helicopter as properly. On one of these heli-adventure, the traveler might also see Arctic fox, caribou, and other flora and fauna as well. Travelers also are supplied the chance to crawl interior an unoccupied polar undergo den, an actually once-in-a-lifetime possibility!
For an enormously intimate experience, travelers with Natural Habitat Tours can stay at the domestically owned and operated “Mothers & Cubs Lodge” positioned throughout the Churchill River from town, which offers a unique getaway wherein mothers and cubs tend to congregate. The inn is encaged in bars, like a shark cage, with a porch place across the motel and walkways on top in which tourists can view the bears. Bears appear within the home windows and arise to the bars around the inn to look at visitors. The lodge, built in the early 1900s and a nearby buying and selling submit that attracted neighborhood Inuit, Cree, and Chippewa Indians implements environmentally pleasant practices inclusive of self-composting toilets, water conservation, and careful waste disposal.