Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Churchill: Bears from the Buggy I

As promised, pictures of polar bears I saw in Churchill this summer.

This bear was spotted at our third stop, on a small, rocky peninsula that sticks a few hundred meters out into Hudson Bay. Her companion, probably her two-year-old cub, showed up soon after.

Here we see the pair, approaching us while staying in the water. It was a pretty hot day, perhaps 25 degrees, and there were lots of biting flies around. Thick fur protects the bears from the flies everywhere except around their noses, but provides a heavy, effective layer of insulation that encourages the bears to hang out in the cold water.

Mom decided to check us out, while her cub seemed a bit more wary of us.

I really like this shot of the two of them looking at us.

Mom came up pretty close to us, stopping about three meters from the side of our Buggy. She hung out there for a little bit, then turned around and went back to her cub in the water, and the two of them moved off down the beach (to the right in these pictures).

After this encounter, we drove a bit further, stopping at another collection site. After we'd been there for a while, another bear showed up. I'll put up my pictures of him soon.


King Aardvark said...

Hmm, perhaps the giant buggies are because you're letting polar bears come right up to the side of the thing. I wouldn't want to do that in a school bus.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful photos! I like the one of the two bears looking at the buggy as well. Certainly more exciting than the polar bear that is usually sleeping at the Bronx Zoo, anyway...

Suvrat Kher said...

great photos! what an experience that must have been.

TheBrummell said...

Thanks for the positive comments!

Yes, the Tundra Buggy tour was certainly one of the highlights of an all-around great trip. Even better: I'll probably get to go again next year.

Aside: as usual, these photos are unmodified except shrunk to around 20% of full, original size and saved as smaller files. Full-size, 1.7MB files are sitting on my harddrive, available upon request.