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Arctic Wooley Bear caterpillar at Seal River Heritage Lodge. Paul Scriver photo.

Arctic woolly bear caterpillar at Seal River Heritage Lodge. Paul Scriver photo.

by Paul Scriver, Churchill Wild Polar Bear Guide

The trip is called Birds, Bears and Belugas, but of course we are out to see everything the sub-arctic ecosystem has to show us, and this week nature provided us with another wonderful gift!

Along with polar bears, we also saw caribou, sandhill cranes, wood frogs and the elusive Arctic woolly bear caterpillar, and there’s a reason to be excited about that.

Maxing out at a speedy 0.08 km/h, the woolly bear caterpillar has the longest life cycle of any butterfly or moth, taking nearly 14 years to pupate. The size of the red band on this woolly bear, in contrast to the darker colour at the tip and tail, suggests warmer temperatures ahead.

If you believe in the woolly bear’s ability to predict the severity of the winter, we are in for a mild one along the shores of Hudson Bay, which bodes well for the Polar Bear Photo Safaris at Seal River Heritage Lodge and Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge this fall!

Polar Bear Photo Safari

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