by Nolan Booth, Director of Lodge Operations, Churchill Wild
We love to see our first polar bear every season. This year was no different. Until this morning!
At almost every meal at least part of the discussion centers around when the first polar bear will arrive and whether it will be a single male or female, or maybe a Mom and one, two or possibly three cubs. We don’t talk about grizzly bears. We do now.
To our surprise we woke up this morning at 5:30 a.m. and were greeted by a grizzly bear wandering around the grounds at Seal River Lodge! It had beautiful coat of thick brown fur and looked to be very healthy. It also seemed to have no real fear of us. Our new found guest spent the morning cleaning up all the goose nests in the area and sticking its nose down sik-sik holes looking for a meal.
This is the first time we’ve ever seen a grizzly bear at any of our remote polar bear lodges but it might just be a sign of more good things to come. A recent story on the CBC News Web site, Grizzly bears wander into Manitoba polar bear territory, new research shows, revealed that researchers from the University of Saskatchewan have taken over 200 photos of grizzly bears, polar bears and black bears all in the same vicinity in Manitoba’s Wapusk National Park.
Seal River Lodge is approximately 60 km north of Wapusk, and if we’re seeing grizzlies there, it may be only a matter of time before we see them at our Dymond Lake EcoLodge 30 km north of Wapusk, and at Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge, which is approximately 50 km east of the southern tip of the park.
Will we have to create a new polar bear er… grizzly bear safari in the near future? Let’s hope so! We already see both black bears and polar bears at Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge. Adding grizzly bears to the mix would be a triple treat for our guests!
Okay, I have to run now. We have to finish building the additional new bedrooms at Seal River Lodge within the next few weeks… while a big, brown beautiful lump sleeps 25 feet from my window. I think today might include some additional challenges.
Of the kind that makes us smile.