Thursday, February 17, 2011

Polar Bears, Polar Bears and Polar Bears Oh My!

1.  Tonight we met the young adult who was kinda attacked by a polar bear while stranded on an ice floe a little over a year ago near Coral Harbour.  He and his friend came to our door to see if we wanted to buy a ring made of Caribou antler.  I could have asked him questions all night about his "adventure", but I felt bad focusing all my attention on him while the other was "chopped liver" next to him.  He did tell us that he had fallen asleep when he felt something pawing him (almost as if the bear was curious and being cautious), well he somehow had enough time to turn over and shoot the bear dead.  It's no surprise that he was very scared of freezing to death while he drifted on the ice floe.  If you are interested in seeing pictures and reading about the rescue, go to the links below (they each have different details of the story)

2.  There is a Wildlife Conservation Officer here in town and we were recently invited to dinner with him and his fiance.  If I never get to see a polar bear, it will be because of his good work.  He's the person who gets the calls in the wee hours of the morning about polar bears lurking close to town.  He's the person who goes out to try to scare them away and if that doesn't work, he's the one to destroy them.  Once again, I could have asked him questions all night (I think all things polar bear fascinate and frighten me) but you can imagine how easy it was to have a conversation with 3 little boys around!  According to him, polar bears come close to town in the fall when they are hungry and are waiting for the ice to freeze in order to be able to hunt for seal.  Apparently, there were approximately 6 that came close.  One of them, a mother with her cub(s) (not sure if the cubs were counted in the 6) were close to the the airport, which is on our side of the town.  Usually the bears come from the land on the other side of town where the dump is.  I asked how we would know if there was a polar bear close to town and he said he would call us.  I'm happy with that!

3.  We've been getting to know a young single mom of 2 girls and one night she was over for dinner and we were talking about polar bears.  I was trying to ask her how scared and careful we need to be.  For example, can I send the older boys outside to play?  What about those dark cold winter mornings when I walk Benjamin to school?  Well anyway at one point she was saying not to send the kids outside at all and I was really surprised.  Not at all?  Ever?  I mean we go outside everyday!  We play on the snow mountains and drifts...  Well anyway the lines of communication got crossed at some point with the language barrier because she thought I wanted to send my kids outside when a polar bear was in town.  She was strongly suggesting that we don't leave the house and so I was confused!  And she was confused that I wanted to feed my kids to the bears!  Ha!  Well did we ever laugh when we figured that we were talking about very different situations!  In the wintertime, polar bears are rarely seen on the land because they are all on the ice hunting.  I will have to ask the same questions come summertime and fall...  But for now it's generally safe to be outside.

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely fascinating!
    - and easier to read than yesterday's post :-)

    By the way, you are doing a fantastic job of chronicling what it is like to be introduced to life in the north. You might want to save all your posts since this would be great to publish (or keep for personal use) later . . .

    Greg (hfx)