Many have seen polar bears restrained in the synthetic surroundings of a zoo. However, most effective, a fortunate few have had the exhilarating revel in witnessing those charming and majestic creatures up near their herbal habitat. Every fall, the small grain port of Churchill, Manitoba, on the west coast of Canada’s Hudson Bay will become a meeting point for natural world viewers, nature enthusiasts, photographers, and adventurers from around the world who come to take a look at one of the amazing thrills of nature, the polar bears of Churchill. Churchill, where the approximately one thousand citizens are outnumbered by using an expected 1200 polar bears, is situated near the southern restriction of where they may be capable of live 12 months round and is one of the most on hand places for one to have a look at polar bears within the wild, making Churchill the satisfactory place on the earth to view polar bears of their natural habitat.
After the spring thaw, the Hudson Bay undergo population roams the tundra, consuming little but berries, grass, and seaweed during the summer months. In the fall, at the same time as pregnant women move to denning regions, nonpregnant lady and male polar bears congregate around Churchill, watching for the waters of Hudson Bay to freeze.
The freeze allows the polar bears to migrate over the ice packs in a direction to their wintry weather seal-looking grounds. Seals are the principal meal supply for polar bears. According to Steve Domino, Field Director for Natural Habitat Tours, “Bears can’t seek loose-swimming seals, and Churchill is one of the first places ice bureaucracy at the bay.” Domino, who has been main polar bear excursions to Churchill for Natural Habitat Tours for 10 years, is a professional wildlife photographer who frequently works with scientists around the arena documenting their studies and has served as an ecotourism improvement representative for the Inuit community of Coral Harbor in the Northwest Territories in addition to a teacher to the National Audubon Ecology Camps in Maine.
Usually, polar bears are solitary creatures, but around Churchill, you could see massive numbers of them; that is why Churchill is called the “Polar Bear Capital of the World.” According to Domino, travelers can anticipate seeing anywhere from 2 to 50 polar bears on the tundra surrounding Churchill at the moment of the year. “Although Churchill has a massive populace, there is no assurance as to how many bears were going to see [on tour]. In common, we’ll see 12 or so years, but it’s the natural world, so it’s unpredictable.”
Travelers observe the polar bears of Churchill from the protection and comfort of a tundra automobile, once in a while referred to as a “tundra buggy.” Through the home windows of a tundra buggy, tourists have the super opportunity to look younger males play combat in training for destiny opposition for associates, mom bears discover the panorama with their cubs at their sides, and solitary adults lumber throughout the tundra. Often tundra motors are surrounded by curious polar bears nibbling at the tires or standing on their hind legs to look in on travelers. It is, in reality, a unique and super flora and fauna experience. The bears reply to the tundra buggies in one in every of three ways: they either completely forget about them, they approach and inspect them, or they virtually go away due to the fact they don’t need to be bothered. But the bears are inquisitive creatures in keeping with Domino. “It’s the high-quality revel in when the bears come test out the tourists.”
“We have the best guides inside the world. Our guides have a totally robust commitment to ecotourism and to giving human beings the excellent experience that they can have.” Natural Habitat Tours, a long-time Supporting Member of The International Ecotourism Society, has made the exercise of high ecotourism requirements an imperative part of its project and has been featured in many guides as one of the choices, responsible nature excursion operators. Domino told Ecotravel.Com, “Ecotourism is evolutionary. We look at an inn or facility and see what is being executed if there’s a want for development, after which we strive to inspire and facilitate that development. Clients expect that we are doing something advantageous, that we’re doing it for the advantage of the local community and no longer harming the environment.”
Putting their philosophy into action, Natural Habitat Tours has assisted the sector’s top polar bear scientists from the Churchill Northern Studies Center and the University of Saskatchewan in acting important research. It is currently inside organizing a scholarship fund for polar endure research on the University of Saskatchewan. Natural Habitat Tours is likewise running with tundra buggy operators to create a guide at the ethics and standards of polar endure viewing for publications that pressure tundra buggies. For Domino, the result of efforts that include these is one of the maximum fun elements of being concerned with Natural Habitat Adventure’s tours. “I take quite a few satisfaction in having this nice impact. That, to me, is ecotourism – having a fantastic effect.”
Natural Habitat Tours offers polar endure viewing now not handiest thru tundra car however by way of the helicopter as properly. On any such help-adventure, the tourist may additionally see Arctic fox, caribou, and other flora and fauna as nicely. Travelers also are supplied the danger to move slowly internal an unoccupied polar bear den, and actually once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!
For an incredibly intimate revel in, tourists with Natural Habitat Tours can stay on the locally owned and operated “Mothers & Cubs Lodge” located across the Churchill River from the metropolis, which offers an extraordinary getaway in which moms and cubs tend to congregate. The motel is encaged in bars, like a shark cage, with a porch area across the lodge and walkways on the pinnacle wherein vacationers can view the bears. Bears appear inside the windows and come up to the bars across the lodge to look in traffic. The inn, constructed in the early 1900s and a neighborhood buying and selling submit that attracted nearby Inuit, Cree, and Chippewa Indians implements environmentally pleasant practices inclusive of self-composting toilets, water conservation, and cautious waste disposal.