It’s Polar Bear Week! Polar Bears International created #PolarBearWeek to coincide with the annual gathering of polar bears near Churchill, Canada as they wait for the sea ice to form on the Hudson Bay so they can return to the ice for hunting. Sea ice loss from due to climate change is the single biggest threat to polar bears. Senior Keeper Allison was fortunate to have traveled to Churchill in the beginning of October with @PolarBearInternational to help facilitate a Climate Alliance Summit, a gathering of zoo professionals around the United States, Canada, and Europe, who spent time the months prior to the trip learning about the best ways to communicate to their communities about climate change, polar bears, and helping to protect the world we live in and share with nature. Over the next few days we are going to share her pictures and stories! This is Part I of Allison’s Adventure
Part II of Zookeeper Allison’s Adventures as we celebrate #PolarBearWeek: Thanks to the generosity of Frontiers North Adventures, the Climate Alliance participants were able to stay out on the Tundra Buggy Lodge for two nights, essentially a series of train cars on monster truck tires in the middle of the tundra. While there, an almost full moon rose over the Hudson Bay and we were graced with an amazing show of Northern Lights.
It’s ##PolarBearWeek and here is Part IV of Allison’ s Adventure: Our first day out on the tundra was on Frontiers North Adventures first ever Electric Vehicle Tundra Buggy. They transformed one of their diesel-powered Tundra Buggies into a battery powered vehicle. The EV Tundra Buggy emits zero emissions and minimal sound making it less intrusive for the local wildlife. Reducing our reliance on fossil fuels such as oil, coal, and gas will reduce the amount of excess carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere and help slow the warming of our planet. Polar bears rely on sea ice to hunt, find mates, and sometimes den. Without a reduction in our carbon emissions, we could lose all but a few polar bear populations by the end of the century.
Part V of Allison’s Adventure: Volume up for this one! The first day out on the Tundra buggy we saw our first bear. All the clicking you hear is the cameras of excited zoo professionals from around the US, Canada, and Belgium as we spotted our first bear.
Part VI of Allison’s Adventure: While staying on Frontiers North Adventures’ Tundra Buggy Lodge, we had the pleasure of having a polar bear join us for breakfast! While no feeding of the bears in the area occurs, the bears waiting for the sea ice to form are often curious of the sights, sounds, and smells that come from the Tundra Buggy Lodge.
Part VII of Allison’s Adventure: While seeing bears in the wild is an amazing experience, we also got the opportunity to see other wildlife out on the Tundra. Ptarmigan, red fox, arctic fox, snowy owls, and gyrfalcon to name a few can all be found in and around the tundra and the town of Churchill.