Join us for a polar bear love fest! Right now is the absolute best time of year to see polar bears roam the tundra, and, for the next few days, we want to show you how magical a winter safari up in northern Manitoba can be.
Check back here and on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all week long as we salute these fascinating creatures. You can also watch live footage via explore.org‘s polar bear cams or follow the #PolarBearWeek conversation on Twitter. For today, we thought we’d start with some cool polar bear facts…
Just the facts
- 1,000+ – There are approximately 1,000 polar bears in the western Hudson Bay population.
- The True King of the North – The polar bear is the largest living land predator. They are considered an Apex predator because they sit at the top of their food chain.
- It’s too hot! – It’s harder to stay cool than warm for a polar bear. Their coat is well-adapted to temperatures that plunge to -50 º C, but they can risk overheating, especially when they run.
- More to ❤️ – An adult male can reach over 3 m (10′) when standing and weigh up to 680 kg (1,500lbs).
- Fur real – Polar bear hair is not white, it’s transparent and hollow. Those hollow hairs trap the sun’s heat and reflect the light making their coat look white. Under all that fur, a polar bear’s skin is actually black.
- Prison time – Polar bears get sent to Polar Bear Jail if they continually wander into the town of Churchill. They are released and relocated via helicopter once Hudson Bay freezes.
- Out all year – With the exception of pregnant females, polar bears do not hibernate. They are active year-round.
- What’s that smell? – Polar bears can smell a seal from more than 1 km away.
- Marathon swimmers – Polar bears are expert swimmers and can swim great distances. They’ve been tracked swimming nonstop for up to 350 km. Their big webbed paws can obtain a swimming speed of 10 km/h.
If you were up in Churchill, which polar bear experience would you brave? Ride? Walk? Sleep? Fly? All four? Tell us in the comments!