by Jenn Truijen, Churchill Wild
Supper time is generally an active time around Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge. Wildlife often appears around 6:30 or 7:30 p.m. whether that be wolves, polar bears or black bears.
Recently, we’ve had a larger male polar bear around the lodge. He circles the compound and naps by the back fence and on the runway. The wolves have been watching him closely, as they seem to have claimed the territory and they are wary of sharing it with a polar bear. We had already seen the wolves and polar bear watching each other and the wolves following the polar bear.
On Tuesday the big bear lay down on the runway across from the lodge. The runway makes for an amazing stage, as it is slightly higher in elevation and it is (obviously) clear of trees, so it provides clear viewing of the action when it happens.
In this case, just as the guests were eating supper, the polar bear had a visitor. And this time it wasn’t a wolf, it was a black bear. It seemed like the black bear did not even fully realize that he was walking up to a polar bear, as he headed straight for it across the runway and got quite close before the polar decided that was enough.
The next part happened quickly, but I was taking pictures when the black bear first approached and somehow had the presence of mind and quick fingers to switch to video when the action accelerated.
The polar bear raised his head and got up and the black bear took off! He ran and ran till he was out of view. The polar bear did not really have to chase the black bear, and he wasn’t near as excited as we were about the whole event. We weren’t sure what would happen or how far the polar bear would go to make it known that this was his domain. He quickly settled back down, totally comfortable in his watchful position on the runway, as the Lord of the Arctic.
But it was quite the event to watch from the dining room windows!