Polar Bear Blog

Wild and curious bears and guests emerge through the wet at Seal River and Nanuk

Shaking off the wet at Seal River. Photo courtesy of Churchill Wild guest David Fox.
Shaking off the wet at Seal River. Photo courtesy of Churchill Wild guest David Fox.

by Paul Scriver, Churchill Wild Polar Bear Guide

The Hudson Bay coastline has been providing an amazing diversity of wildlife for our Summer Dual Lodge Safaris. With the final day of the second safari underway, to say the guests have seen it all would be an understatement. Last week, Churchill Wild guide Paul Scriver wrote about how three different polar bear families highlighted the start of the Summer Dual Lodge Safari. This week was even wilder.

The weather has been rough, with cold temperatures, wind and rain slashing at the coastline, but the intrepid guests on this adventure were not about to let that stop them! The first afternoon of a torrential downpour at Seal River Heritage Lodge produced a close encounter with four bears including a mother and two cubs of the year and it just kept going from there. Three sets of mothers and cubs of the year were spotted on our all-day adventure by ATV and trailer to the Seal River and some curious cubs were playing on canoes left there for pickup by an Ontario-based camp.

Curious polar bear cub on canoes at Seal River. Photo courtesy of Churchill Wild guest David Fox.
Curious polar bear cub on canoes at Seal River. Photo courtesy of Churchill Wild guest David Fox.

We managed to take advantage of a short weather window to venture down to the Seal River in the Zodiaks, where we saw countless beluga excitedly investigating our boats. The whales were audibly chattering away and swarming the boats as we drifted around in the calm seas. We also observed a bit of fishing behaviour, where the whales would charge through the shallows driving at fish.

Northern lights at Nanuk. Photo by Churchill Wild guide Boomer Jerritt.
Northern lights at Nanuk. Photo by Churchill Wild guide Boomer Jerritt.

A final close encounter with a bear at the fence and an amazing display of northern lights capped off the experience at Seal River Heritage Lodge and it was time to head south to Nanuk. The group arrived at Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge full of anticipation for the potential wildlife diversity on the doorstep of the boreal forest, and almost as if on cue, a black bear showed up in front of the dining room windows.

Wolf howling for pack in front of Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge. Paul Scriver photo.
Wolf howling for pack in front of Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge. Paul Scriver photo.

Over the next few days, more polar bears and black bears kept the group excited about venturing out in the rain, because you never knew what was going to pop up! Our final full morning started with early knocks on doors. As people emerged from their rooms, a wolf howled just metres away from the lodge, awaiting a response from the pack, and we were then off to discover more of the wonders of nature…

At Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge.


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 info@churchillwild.com or call 1.866.UGO.WILD (846.9453).


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