Today we saw a two polar bears, 4 arctic foxes and 4 red foxes. We spent the morning in our bus looking for bears, then we went into Churchill. Afterwards more bear spotting, then dinner, then class.
Churchill has a population of 850 people. The primary industry in town is the grain elevator. Trains come from all over Canada with grain, and that grain is stored in the elevator and then shipped out to be sold in Europe. In addition to the grain elevator the town relies on tourism.
Not only can bears can wander into town, but also it is very cold here in the winter (it’s colder than our winter right now, and they are just getting started) so the major city buildings are in the town center. The school, library and government buildings are all in one indoor place. There is a hockey rink in there too.
I met a polar bear researcher at dinner. She said she has wanted to study animals since she was five years old. She has been concentrating on identifying polar bears by their whisker spots. She says every bear seems to have unique markings on their nose.
In our post dinner class tonight we learned that there are 19 different polar bear regions in the world, and the bears have different characteristics. For example the hudson Bay polar bears have smaller heads than the Alaskan bears. Hudson Bay bears have learned to come onshore to find food, while other bears always are out on the ice (hunting for seals.)
We ended our night by watching the YouTube video: What Does the Fox Say? It’s by some swedish group and has people dancing around in the forest. I don’t get it, but it entertained the group.
So very tired. So many layers of clothing….more on that later.