by Paul Scriver, Churchill Wild Polar Bear Guide
With fall rapidly approaching at Seal River Heritage Lodge, our Summer Dual Lodge Safari season is in full swing. We are well into some time at Seal River with our second group of guests, enjoying some bear viewing before heading south to Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge to see what there is to find on the edge of the boreal forest.
This week, we had the pleasure of watching a number of sets of Moms and cubs along with an assortment of other bears and bird life. With two thirds of all polar bear pregnancies resulting in litters of two cubs, it’s not uncommon to see a mother with two eight-month old cubs, but it is still a special moment when we do catch a glimpse of the family together. Yesterday was unusual however, as we saw not just one set of a Mom and two COYs (Cubs of the Year), not two sets, but three family units roaming the coastline!
What really stood out as we watched these bears roam around was that all of them were healthy and in great shape for this time of year. The cubs were round and pudgy and the mothers were still carrying plenty of weight, which would easily get them through to ice-in. To say that the odds are against these little guys in their first year is an understatement.
With the survival rate sitting around 50 percent, the chances of a mother successfully raising two cubs is low. They will stay with their mother somewhere into their second full winter and then either wander off or Mom will push them out into the world before the spring mating season. With these odds in mind, it was both impressive and exciting that to see these three Moms with two healthy cubs each.
Good work Moms!
LATE UPDATE: A few spots have just opened up on the Hudson Bay Odyssey at Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge from September 12-18. For more information please email [email protected] or call 1.866.UGO.WILD (846.9453).