I could’ve written a book after interviewing these people, but I had to settle for a thousand words.
Living in the ‘Polar Bear Capital of the World’
Life is a bit quieter in Churchill, Manitoba these days. The tourists have left, and the polar bears have disappeared into the icy Hudson Bay to hunt for seals.
The “Polar Bear Capital of the World” is now essentially without polar bears. At least for a few months.
The bears will swim ashore in mid-July, but they won’t gather in great numbers until September. This is when bear season begins in Churchill, a town with fewer than 1,000 residents. By November, sometimes 60 polar bears can be seen on a given day.
Polar bears can grow as long as 10 feet and weigh up to 1,400 pounds, and the arrival of some of the world’s most powerful predators makes life in Churchill different from anywhere else on the planet.
If you live in Churchill, you don’t walk the streets at night during bear season. You keep your car doors unlocked — if a bear shows up, you’ll need shelter fast. And when you hear horns, you walk away and let the “bear catchers” do their job.