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Susan Anderson - An advocate for Carcinoid and Neuroendocrine Tumor Awareness

Great White Bear Tundra Lodge
Natural Habitat Adventures
Oct. 26 – Nov. 2, 2008
Susan L. Anderson


     Our trip to view the polar bears, and other wildlife, near Churchill, Manitoba, Canada, met all of our expectations.  We (Howard and I) recommend this Natural Habitat tour ( highly for those who love and appreciate nature and wildlife.  I (Susan) made our reservations on December 19, 2006, and this trip was completely booked  by the spring of 2007.  It is fully booked for the 2009 season, so those interested should book now for 2010.

October 26, 2008, Sunday:

     At  5 a.m. we left for the off-airport parking.  Our plane tickets were through Air Canada and the planes were Sky West.  We changed planes in Denver, Colorado, and flew on to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.  When we landed about 4:50 p.m. it was 36 degrees and the wind was blowing at 30 miles per hour.  We met six others at the Natural Habitat kiosk and waited for our hotel shuttle.  We checked into the historic Fort Garry Hotel and later had dinner.

The Fort Garry Hotel ( was designated as a national historic site. Since 1913, this former Grand Trunk Pacific Railway hotel has stood as a symbol of Winnipeg's importance as a North American transportation hub and of the prairie city's affinity for old world elegance. One of Winnipeg's most prestigious landmarks, The Fort Garry is now in its 10th decade. In recent years, this grand hotel has enjoyed an unparalleled renaissance, winning new admirers and accolades from patrons and guests as the hotel approaches its 100th year on Broadway.  The hotel is Winnipeg's best example of the chateau style of architecture which first found expression in the magnificent railway hotels built across Canada before 1930.

October 27, 2008, Monday:

     This was the “extra day” that some of us booked just in case flights were cancelled or delayed by bad weather.

      We had a good buffet breakfast in the hotel about 6 a.m..  At 8 a.m. we met our group in the lobby for a full day of seeing Winnipeg … the capital of Manitoba.  We had a bus tour of the city hearing the history and culture of the area. 

     Next we drove to the Oak Hammock Marsh & Interpretive Center seeing tens of thousands of Snow Geese and Cackling Geese (known as Canadian Geese to us) along the way.  At the center we met a guide, viewed an introductory movie and then took a guided walk in the marsh.  When we returned to the center we enjoyed lunch.  I purchased a book Manitoba, Naturally: Scenic Secrets of Manitoba by Bill Stilwell and autographed by him.  This book, copyright 2006, won the national award as “outdoor book of the year”

Oak Hammock Marsh ( is one of North America’s birding hotspots and a great destination for people of all ages.   The Wildlife Management Area features a restored prairie marsh, aspen-oak bluff, waterfowl lure crops, artesian springs, some of Manitoba's last remaining patches of tall-grass prairie and 30 kilometers of trails to explore.   Oak Hammock Marsh is home to 25 species of mammals, 300 species of birds, numerous amphibians, reptiles, and fish, and countless invertebrates. During migration season, the number of waterfowl using the marsh during migration can exceed 400,000 daily.

Award-winning Oak Hammock Marsh Interpretive Centre is located on the edge of the marsh. This beautiful location offers the perfect setting for the Interpretive Centre’s many entertaining and educational programs.

     After lunch we returned to Winnipeg, stopping to take additional photographs of the thousands and thousands  of Snow Geese and Cackling Geese.  Next  we went to the Manitoba Museum ( for a tour with a knowledgeable guide.  The Manitoba Museum is the province’s largest heritage center with excellent exhibits of the human, cultural and natural history of Manitoba. In the gift shop I purchased the  book The Edge of the Arctic: Churchill and the Hudson Bay Region by photographer Robert R. Taylor and autographed by him.  Before leaving home we purchased the book Polar Bears by Ian Stirling and photographs by Dan Guravich.  Our bus and tour guide returned us to The Fort Garry Hotel about 5 p.m.

     At the hotel we went to the  Natural Habitat’s rooms on the ninth floor where we left our coats and shoes, and obtained our down filled parkas with fur-lined hoods and our arctic boots.  In the evening we had a group dinner, (the rest of our group arrived during the day.  At the orientation dinner we met our two leaders: Leah Magowan, a native of London, England and Conrad Henning a native of South Africia.  Each person stood and introduced themselves and we learned more about our upcoming adventure.

October 28, 2008, Tuesday:

     After another good 6 a.m. breakfast in the hotel we boarded our bus for the trip to Winnipeg International Airport.  Our group was taken directly to our charter plane on the tarmac, we did not need to go through security screening or enter the terminal.  The plane was a Convair 580 turboprop operated by Nolinor Aviation.

     After our two and one half hour (2 ˝) flight, viewing the boreal forest, tundra with many lakes (Manitoba says they have 100,000 lakes) we landed in Churchill, Manitoba, Canada.  It was 17 degrees, snowing lightly and the wind was blowing 25 miles per hour.  Churchill says they are located where the tundra meets the boreal forest.



     We boarded our bus and stopped to see the “Polar Bear Jail” that we had read about.  When a Polar Bear wanders into the main part of Churchill, it is put in the jail where blood is drawn for research, tattoo is placed inside the lip and the ears are tagged.  After a few days the Polar Bear is airlifted, in a net below a helicopter, to a safer distance … 40 or 50 miles out of town.

     We next went to Great White Bear Tour Co. (  where we boarded our Polar Rover and our feet would not touch the ground again until Saturday (Nov. 1st).    

Polar Rovers (from the Great White Bear Tours web site):

Explore the Churchill Wildlife Management Area in our luxurious Polar Rover.  These vehicles are heated, wheelchair assessable, have comfortable washrooms with flush toilets, reclining seats, and easily opened windows.  All our vehicles have outdoor grated see-through decks and the vehicle height is designed to ensure passenger safety and comfort.

Because of the unique requirements to keep people safe from the polar bears yet enable them to safely view the polar bears, these vehicles have to be custom built for both rough terrain travel and passenger comfort.  They are constructed in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada by Don Walkoski

A modern Great White Bear Polar Rover typically begins life not as a bus but as an airport fire control crash truck.  These vehicles are heavily built eight wheel drive fire trucks, capable of delivering 6 thousand gallons of water and flame retardants to a disaster site.  Due to Department of Transportation regulations, these vehicles are generally retired from their emergency duties well before the rolling chassis is anywhere near the end of its lifespan.  A single crash truck provides 4 differentials with planetary drive ends, frame rails, transfer cases and lots of other spare parts that can either be used in the project, sold or used in other projects (as it is in most remotes locations, necessity is the mother of invention in the north).

     Once the frame has been relieved of the crash truck’s water tanks, cab, twin Detroit diesel V8 engines, and most everything else, the rails are sandblasted and painted and new spring mounts are fabricated to handle the suspension system.  The frame is then prepared to mount the International DT466 diesel engine that will power the machine.  If this will be a four wheel drive machine, the rear suspension is entirely modified from the “stock” walking beam suspension used by the crash truck manufacturer.  Additional cross members are fabricated to accommodate the Allison automatic transmission and Fabco custom transfer case and mounts for the fuel and propane tanks are added.

     Coaches are made almost entirely from aluminum.  A box aluminum skeleton is attached to an aluminum sub frame.  Custom formed sections make the transition from sides to roof.  A plywood floor is added, and then the aluminum skin panels go on.  Polyurethane adhesive is used to mount the skins, insulation is added as well as interior finish panels.  Electrical and plumbing systems, windows and rear deck grating are then added.  The rover is then painted and ready to use.

     Although massive, our polar rovers put down a low 4lbs per square inch in ground pressure minimizing damage to the fragile arctic landscape, due to the large tires that we use.  The machines burn an average of 12-15 gallons of fuel per day because of the low gear ratios and small 210 hp diesel engines that power the vehicle

     After boarding our Polar Rover we were off across the tundra to the lodge.  Our feet
would not touch the ground again until Saturday
(Nov. 1st).  Our driver for each day was Brent Browatzke in his 11th year as  driver / guide / wildlife spotter and he surely had the eagle eyes for finding animals.  When not in Churchill for bear season Brent lives in Swift Current, Saskatchewan.

     On the drive across the tundra (on “roads” laid out by the military) we saw our first Polar Bear (see list of wildlife viewed at the end of this travelogue).  We stopped and had a picnic lunch along the way to the lodge …. usually a 45 minute drive.

     While in the Tundra Lodge there was  no television, no newspapers (for this news and political “junkie”), no telephone, and no cell-phones and no boots on the ground Tue. afternoon until Sat. mid-morning

Tundra Lodge

Sleeping with the polar bears? Not quite, but the new Great White Bear Tundra Lodge lets you get about as close to sleeping with the bears as anyone would care to be! Situated close by the shore of Hudson Bay in the Churchill Wildlife Management Area, the Tundra Lodge is a great place to bear watch, catch the aurora on a clear night, or just plain relax between rides out on the All Terrain Buses.

The lodge is built on mobile platforms as individual units. There are two sleepers, a lounge car, a dining car, and a utility/crew car. A generator provides electricity for lights and battery charging. Heat is provided by propane furnaces.

The dining car has a six burner commercial stove and griddle; several BBQs are on the deck. The lounge car has a TV, VCR, and a slide projector. Cabins (and the bunks in them) are single occupancy; half are upper bunks (climb a ladder), half are lower (floor level) bunks.

The Tundra Lodge, located on the sub-Arctic tundra outside of the small Canadian outpost of Churchill, Manitoba, is a remarkable rolling hotel that is placed in an area of high polar bear density in the beginning of the polar bear season which runs each October and November. It has 32 rooms, each room a single compartment similar to a room on a train. With three general toilets and two showers as well as a lounge area for viewing bears and a dining area with sliding windows for viewing and photography, the Tundra Lodge offers an authentic and personal Arctic experience without sacrificing comfort.

     The Tundra Lodge manager is Ed Bouvier – Ed has been with Great White Bear Tours since 2000.  He has lived in Churchill intermittently since the 1970’s.  Ed now calls The Pas, Manitoba home but returns to Churchill every fall for the Polar Bear Season.

     Between the “cars” of the lodge there is double metal grating to walk on and side walls (of this observation deck).  We were able to view bears outside on both sides of the lodge and some underneath the lodge looking up through the grate probably wanting to eat us.  We did not need our down filled parka’s.  The bears appeared to be attracted to the lodge.  Looking north we were a short distance from the south shore of the huge Hudson Bay (larger than Texas), and looking south we were almost on the shore of a good sized lake.

     Upon arrival at the Tundra Lodge we took our luggage to our “rooms”.  I (Susan) had room number 6 (a lower bunk) and Howard has room number 5 (an upper bunk) both with a window and a door that closed and locked … although I never locked mine.

     That first afternoon and night was thrilling, as we saw a sow (mother) bear and her two cubs, several single bears, a Red Fox, an Arctic Fox, and two male bears “sparring” like fighting / play acting.   Later that night many of the guest, including Howard, viewed a magnificent Aurora Borealis (the Northern Lights), I (Susan) didn’t hear the knocks on my door and slept through the night so missed seeing this (a disappointment).

     Each evening in the lounge car there was “happy hour” (wine, beer, V-8 and soft drinks).  One of the leaders (Leah or Conrad) would give an educational talk and then there was free time.   Dinner was served at 7 p.m., after which there would be another educational program by either Leah or Control

     Simon was an excellent chef and his wife Theresa his very able assistant.  The meals were a nice surprise.  The food was plentiful, four star meals and the presentations were first class.  They served a variety of salads, the variety and quality of food was excellent.  Breakfast Wed. through Fri. was at 7 a.m., on Sat. it was at 6:30 a.m.  Lunch was served at noon and dinner at 7 p.m.  Everyone ate at the same sitting.

October 29, 2008 (Wednesday):

     Our group of 30 people signed up to be in one of two groups for the Polar Rover.  Our group had 14, the other group had 16 people, and each group had one of the leaders.  If a group went out in the morning (8 a.m. until about 11:45 a.m.) one day they went in the afternoon (12:50 to 4 or 4:30 p.m.) the next day and so on.  Everyone had an individual comfortable seat (reclining if wanted, but none of us did) with a window and rows with no one in them so everyone could move around; and when stopped for animal viewing we could go to the back deck outside.  Or when stopped we could lower an upper window for an unobstructed camera view.  I (Susan) always had one of the front seats so could also take photos out the large front windows.

     Tundra Buggy Co. ( operates twelve (12) vehicles and an older lodge on the tundra (I asked around and their bunks have curtains and no doors).  To me their buggies did not appear to be nearly as nice as the six (6)  operated by Great White Bear Tours (

     This day our group went out in the morning and saw a lot of wildlife: Polar Bears (singles and sows with cubs), Snowy Owl, Arctic Hare, many kinds of birds and a flock of Willow Ptarmigan with their white feathers for winter, in the summer their feathers are brown (state bird of Alaska).  I found it interesting that no limbs grow on the north side of the Spruce trees, due to the wind.

     Howard says when the Polar Bears see the Polar Rover and Tundra Buggies they may think here comes the “impossible dream lunch wagon”.

     The Ptarmigan is an arctic bird that spends most of its life on the ground. The Ptarmigan has feathered feet, helping it to walk on the snow. Ptarmigans change their color 3 times in a single year! In the winter they are completely white to hide them from enemies and to blend in with the snow. But in the early spring Ptarmigans will moult--shed their old feathers--and turn brown with areas of gold and black feathers. In the fall they are usually a grayish color before turning white for the winter again.

       After lunch Leah talked about Polar Bear Reproduction.  After dinner there were bears, bears, bears and two males sparring for over an hour.  We had light snow during the day that turned quite heavy during the night.

October 30, 2008 (Thursday):

     During the night we received about a foot of snow and it continued snowing heavily during the day … beautiful.  Breakfast again at 7 a.m.  The other group went out in the Polar Rover during the morning.  Staying at Tundra Lodge we saw two male bears sparring, a third larger bear than the first two out of area. We also saw a sow (mother)  and cubs and additional bears, plus various kinds of birds.

     Our group went out in the Polar Rover for the afternoon; there were snow drifts and everything looked different, and quite pretty, with the snow.  We returned for “happy hour” and a talk on Global Warming by Conrad.

     After dinner Conrad gave a talk about Sir John Franklin, very interesting.  I’ve read a fictional account of him … no one knows for sure what happened to him and his last expedition to find the “northwest passage”.   

The Terror: A Novel by Dan Simmons.   Sir John Franklin's last expedition remains one of the great mysteries of Arctic exploration. What we know, more or less, is this: In the balmy days of May 1845, 129 officers and men aboard two ships -- Erebus and Terror -- departed from England for the Canadian Arctic in search of a Northwest Passage to the Pacific. They were never heard from again. Between 1847 and 1859, Franklin's wife pushed for and funded various relief missions, even as the expectation of finding survivors was replaced by the slim hope for answers.

There was a brief showing of the Northern Lights when clouds parted this night.

October 31, 2008 (Friday):

     The wind and snow ceased during the night.  After breakfast our group went out in the Polar Rover from 8 a.m. until 11:45 a.m.  The sunrise was 9:20 a.m. and the day was then sunny and beautiful with deep snow drifts.  This was a wet snow, Churchill area usually gets seventeen (17) inches of dry snow annually.  We saw a sow (mother) and her playful cub … we watched him play in the snow, dig, topple down drifts, nurse and have a good time in the beautiful light. 

     During the sunrise the light quality was what most of us call the National Geographic lightWe saw many bears and felt fortunate to have been out and about on a clear day, on a snowy day, and today, a bright sunny day with sparkling snow.

     After lunch, while the other group was out in the Polar Rover, our group read, slept, photographed bears (me), some did exercises,  and some started packing … although it seemed like we had just arrived.

     At “happy hour” we had a large variety of hors d’ oeuvres, followed by a lovely dinner.  After dinner Leah talked on the history of Churchill. (

     Again when the clouds parted there was a brief showing of the Northern Lights.

     Town of Churchill

The first Europeans to visit Churchill arrived in 1619 from Denmark.  Jens Munk and his crew spent a long cold winter on the coast of Hudson’s Bay arriving back in Denmark with only 3 of the original 64 members of his expedition.

Before 1619, the area around Churchill was inhabited by many indigenous peoples.  The Thule people arrived around 1000 A.D. and later evolved into the present-day Inuit Culture.  Additionally, the region has been continuously inhabited by the Chipewyan and Cree peoples.

The Hudson Bay Company established the first fur trading post in Churchill at the mouth of the Churchill River in 1717.  The town was named for John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough who was the governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company in the late 1600s.

After World War 1, Churchill was selected as the site for the creation of a major new northern shipping harbour on Hudson Bay, linked by rail from Winnipeg.  The rail line finally arrived in Churchill in 1929 making it possible for commercial shipping to take place.  Today the shipping port is mainly used to transport grain and other bulk cargoes.

Churchill was also the site of the Churchill Rocket Research Range.  This range was part of the Canadian-American atmospheric research, the first rocket was fired in 1956 and the range was eventually closed in 1984.  The site is now used by the Churchill Northern Studies Centre where Arctic research is carried out.

Ecotourism has become the major industry in Churchill, with more than 10,000 tourists each year who come to view the Polar Bears, Beluga Whales and other wildlife in their natural habitat.

 Churchill is known as the “The Polar Bear Capital of the World”, because Churchill is the only easily accessible place in the world where humans can view Polar Bears in their natural habitat.  Located in Northern Manitoba approximately 995 km north of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Churchill is only accessible by rail or air.  The community of 900 residents is nestled on the shore of the Hudson Bay at the mouth of the mighty Churchill River.  This unique community stands at an ecotone, the juncture of two ecoregions; the boreal forest to the south, and the Arctic Tundra to the North.  The meeting of these two regions provides a unique environment for the variety of wildlife found in Churchill.  Churchill is the main Arctic Ocean seaport in North America with a rail connection to the south and an airport for transportation of goods and people. .

 Churchill isn’t just about Polar Bears… they have an abundance of interesting things to see and do:  spring and fall flowers; 150 species of birds, trees and plants; thousands of Beluga Whales during July and August, and  in the harbor the 5 million bushel grain complex that can load grain at the rate of 60,000 bushels per hour.

     After dinner Conrad gave a 25 minute slide presentation of places he has traveled (and led groups) all around the world …. he’s a marvelous photographer.  Rather sad to think this was our last night in the Tundra Lodge.

      Halloween in Churchill is a bit different as it is at the height of the Polar Bear season.  The town employees, volunteer fire department, Polar Bear Alert officers, Canadian Rangers and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police patrol the community to keep bears out of the town limits, and the “polar bear alert” signs are posted all around the town limits.  The town is divided up into sectors.  The Halloween Patrol has been going on for over twenty (20) years.  During the last week in October each year Churchill hosts from 15 to 20 documentary and news film crews from around the world.

November 1, 2008 (Saturday):

     Breakfast was served at 6:30 a.m.  We left the Tundra Lodge with our parkas and wearing our arctic boots (the first time they were needed).  We left at 7:15 a.m. while dark for the 45 minute drive to the Great White Bear Tours facility where we transferred to a bus for the drive across the tundra back in to Churchill.  We had a “tour” of Churchill which has a population about one thousand (1,000) people.

     We visited the Eskimo Museum which contains Inuit, Cree, Dene and Metis relics dating back to the 1700s, plus a collection of 3,000 artifacts and 800 pieces of art revealing the aboriginal heritage of those who first settled the Arctic. It has a display of two animal-hide canoes and several stuffed animals as well as the art and carvings and also caribou antler pictographs and soapstone statues of great value to the Eskimo people.

     The Eskimo Museum had a nice small gift shop and an excellent selection of books.  I purchased Polar Bears of Churchill: A Guide to ‘Bear Season’ and Beyond in the Polar Bear Capital of the World by Kelsey Eliasson and White Bear of the North Wapusk signed by the author Rebecca L. Grambo and photography by Dennis Fast.

     When our bus picked us up at the Eskimo Museum we went to the Seaport Hotel where everyone could leave their luggage and carry-on or day packs.  People had time to shop and we were all to meet at noon for lunch at the Trader’s Table in the Arctic Trading Post.  Several people went dog sledding.

     Nine of us were taken to Hudson Bay Helicopter where we had our safety briefing before loading into two helicopters for our  90 minute trip.  We flew over the huge Wapusk National Park (no roads and no humans live there), to Cape Churchill and landed on top of a “hill”.  Both pilots carried guns just in case.  Our pilot  Daryl Ressler said he has lived in Yellowknife, NW Territory for five years and ferries geologists and supplies to the diamond mine in the area …. think the TV show “Ice Road Truckers”, and he has flown the Polar Bear season in Churchill for three years.  We saw a mother moose and her calf, several male moose with huge antlers and eleven (11) Polar Bears from the helicopter.  I (Susan) am glad I went on this helitour.  We each were given a color certificate with photo of two bears mine stating “This certifies that Susan Anderson, Completed a Wilderness Helitour, Land of the Polar Bear with Hudson Bay Helicopters, Nov. 1, 2008, Pilot: Daryl Ressler”.

     When we returned from the helicopter tour we were taken to the Trader’s Table where the rest of our group were already seated at the table.  We had given our orders the day before.  This was the last time we were all together. 

     While I was doing the helicopter tour Howard did some shopping for me (coasters, shirts, magnets).  He also visited the bakery and says their chocolate éclairs and ice cold milk were both very good.  I had gotten to purchase a few items at the Eskimo Museum gift shop including a carved Inukshuk done by a Canadian Inuk artist. 

     The ancient Inukshuk (in-ook-shook) rock sculptures of the Inuit peoples have many functions.  Piles of rock slabs resembling a person were built to guide or channel caribou into areas where Inuit hunters could easily harvest them.  As trail markers, a longer arm might point in the direction of travel or peering through the middle may give a view of the next Inukshuk.  Some may indicate where fish may be caught or a food cache may be buried.  Built on hilltops, they may mark the territory of a family group.  In time, they have evolved beyond markers, acquiring spiritual significance symbolizing strength through unity – each rock in balance, supported by the rocks below, supporting the rocks above.

     It was a sunny and cold day in Churchill with snow and ice everywhere.  After lunch our bus took us to a Polar Bear air-lift, moving a bear and her two cubs out of the Polar Bear Jail and back to the wilds many miles from Churchill.

     Churchill has a curfew for evenings and signs around the town that say: “POLAR BEAR ALERT  STOP  DON”T WALK IN THIS AREA”, and POLAR BEAR ALERT  Report all bears to PH 675-2327 (BEAR).

     We then were taken to the Churchill Airport.  After getting our boarding passes, I (Susan) shopped a bit at the Here Be Bears stand where I purchased a Polar Bear and cub silver necklace, earrings and a ring.  The jewelry was designed and made by Mark Reynolds.

     Our charter flight again was on a Convair 580 turboprop again operated by Nolinor Aviation.  Again it was a two and one half hour (2 ˝) flight with light snow, but was nice when we landed in Winnipeg.  A bus met our plane on the tarmac and we were returned to The Fort Garry Hotel (  We took our parkas and arctic boots back to the Natural Habitat rooms (  on the 9th floor and retrieved our coats and shoes, then went to our room.  Everyone was on their own for dinner.  At the coffee shop we had sandwiches and I purchased a Toronto newspaper and we watched some news on CNN.

November 2, 2008 (Sunday):

     Our wake up call came promptly at 4:45 a.m. and we had our luggage outside the door at 5:15 a.m.  Our shuttle (there were four of us from our tour and several others from additional tours that did not stay out on the tundra) left the hotel at 5:30 a.m. and took us to the Winnipeg International Airport where we went through U.S. Customs.  We don’t know what it is about Howard, a “retired” U.S. Air Force officer, but he was stopped, his carry on bag searched and wanded twice.  I purchased a couple of items plus postcards and the Sunday Winnipeg newspaper while we waited for our plane.  Our Sky West flight left at 7:40 a.m. arriving in Denver about 9 a.m.  We had a good breakfast in the Denver airport, and our next Sky West flight left at 11:10 a.m., arriving in Phoenix at 1 p.m.  We soon got our luggage (each of us had a duffle bags) and took the shuttle to our off airport parking and arrived home about 1:20 p.m.

Wildlife we observed (see below), photographing much of it and Howard also did some video. The new Nikon Coolpix P80 (zoom x18) camera that Howard got for me a few days before we left was wonderful and I enjoyed using it very much.  I (Susan) kept 912 photographs after deleting a few that were not in focus. 

Wildlife Report:  

Snow Geese … thousands
Cackling Geese (Canadian Geese) … thousands
Arctic Fox … four
Red Fox … two
Seal … one
Snowy Owl … one
Arctic Hare … one
Polar Bears, feet on side of lodge … three
Polar Bears, two males sparring … five times
Polar Bear sow & cub(s) … eleven times
Polar Bears, singles … lost count after 39 (thirty-nine)
Polar Bear airlift in net … three bears (sow & cubs)
Willow Ptarmigan … large flock
Moose, mother & calf … one
Moose, male … either three or five
Northern Lights/Aurora Borealis … three nights
Trees … Tamarack, Willow, Spruce


Polar bears on Hudson Bay (from Page 1D, USA TODAY, 6 Jan. 2006)

Hudson Bay is where the southernmost and best-studied populations live.

About 60% of the estimated 22,000 polar bears live in the Canadian Arctic. The planet's largest land-dwelling carnivores are a sight to behold. Sea ice is essential to their survival because it is the platform from which they hunt ringed seals and other prey. Global warming is causing the ice to retract, threatening the bears' ability to hunt and breed. At this rate, the sea ice could disappear by 2050. “They will lose their habitat, and if you don't have your habitat, you don't have anything,” says Lara Hansen, chief scientist for climate change at World Wildlife Fund.

Polar bears need to maintain a minimum weight to reproduce; those in the Hudson Bay population are approaching a weight at which breeding will no longer be possible. The bears can migrate north, but unless action is taken to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, which cause global temperature increases, “we'll slowly be moving the line of polar bears until there is nowhere else for them to be” Hansen says.

We Are The Nature People! Natural Habitat Adventures is the world’s premier nature travel company, dedicated to providing our guests with the planet's greatest nature expeditions. You won't find European river cruises or Egyptian pyramid tours among our offerings, though those are wonderful travel experiences. Instead, we focus solely on nature travel which, simply put, makes us good at it.  With Natural Habitat Adventures you can come face-to-face with a giant polar bear, reach out and pet a friendly gray whale, and sit amongst a family of mountain gorillas all in the company of the world’s best naturalist guides. If you appreciate the splendors of nature, come join us. We are the nature people!


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