by Bella Waterton, Churchill Wild Wilderness Guide
It’s been a fabulous week here at Seal River Heritage Lodge!
We’ve been incredibly lucky to witness countless polar bears, enthusiastic beluga whales and multiple bald eagles, Black Scoter, Arctic tern, Common Eider, sandpipers, plovers and Red Phalaropes, just to name a few bird species!
Our last full day at the lodge was spent watching a large male bear feeding on what we later learned was a seal pup. There was a young female trying to get in on the action when we arrived, and you could tell the two had clearly conversed, with the large male dominating the exchange.
Clearly scared off by the male, the female was staying about 30 metres away at all times, in the water and on land. She even made her way towards us, curious as to what we were. We gently pushed her off using our voices and banging two rocks together.
The male bear was slowing down with his feeding, taking multiple breaks, and he finally left for a nap on a soft patch of nearby sand wort. At that point the female made her way back to the carcass and started feeding on what was left for about 20 minutes. Once she had cleaned up the leftovers she made her way past us, down the coast.
With the big male bear napping and the female gone, we inspected what was left of the carcass the bears were feeding on. All that remained of the seal pup was a bottom portion of the jaw and a few pieces of bone.
A welcome snack for two polar bears exploring the Hudson Bay coast!