Home / Travel / Daphne Bramham travels Above a Arctic Circle: Day 6

Daphne Bramham travels Above a Arctic Circle: Day 6

DUNDAS HARBOUR, Devon Island, Nunavut — “Polar bears off a port-side bow.”

That mid-afternoon proclamation altered everything.

Fortunately, a span were sighted before a rifle-toting organisation even had a possibility to go ashore to transparent a landing site, that means creation certain there aren’t any frigid bears around.

The devise had been to do some hiking on a fog-enshrouded island to see an deserted RCMP detachment, as good as a ruins of a 500-year-old Thule settlement.

But with bears on a beach, there would be no hiking and no kayaking.

Polar bears are a kings and queens of a Arctic — no animal is some-more dangerous or powerful, solely a tellurian with a gun.

They are a animal many reputable and feared by a Inuit. They figure prominently in both art and stories.

Over a years, frigid bears have had impossibly good PR. Cute? Absolutely. But there is zero cuddly about them.

So , “rug’d up” in comfortable and waterproof clothes, we set off on a Zodiac safari to hunt bears with a cameras from a water.

The procession of Zodiacs approached carefully and from a side, with Angulalik Pedersen, a technical scholarship confidant to Polar Knowledge Canada, and Jody Reimer, who is doing her doctoral investigate on frigid bears during a University of Alberta, monitoring a womanlike and her pup to safeguard that they weren’t stressed by a approach.

Click here to review some-more from Daphne Bramham’s Arctic series

At first, a spare mom was alert. Her muzzle hold high, contrast a atmosphere for a smell and a spirit of who or what was approaching.

Her hipbones protruded — never a good pointer — but there was justification that she was still lactating. Beyond that, a pup looked plump and healthy, and was believed to be about 8 months old, innate during a past winter.

It seems counter-intuitive that in summer — traditionally a time of copiousness — frigid bears competence be starving. But the bears have developed to flower in a winter.

No one is certain how quick they can move because Reimer says a bears can usually run for about 12 mins before they overheat in a summer.

Their thick coats and vale hair fibres strengthen them from a cold. Even their large paws with prolonged nails are insulated with fur. Their snouts are slight and their necks are prolonged so that they can some-more simply strech seals surfacing during their respirating holes in a ice.

It’s since sea ice is so critical to them. It’s since disintegrating sea ice puts them during such risk.

In a summer, females with cubs rising from sleet dens have already left for months but food and but hibernating (unlike grizzlies, to that frigid bears are many closely related).

This sold womanlike and her pup were feeding on what seemed to be a dusty body of a narwhal. The justification was a sold prolonged tusk.

Pedersen and Reimer weren’t certain how or since a narwhal had finished adult on a steep above a beach. Perhaps it had been tossed adult there in high seas. Maybe a conduct with a spike had been dragged to aloft belligerent by a predator.

The womanlike would get small that she needs from a carcass, Reimer said, since what frigid bears need many is fat, weep from seals or walrus.

And in summer, there is small of that straightforwardly accessible since seals are roughly unfit for frigid bears to locate in open water. Instead, they make do with moulting birds, chicks, eggs, berries, plants and even seaweed.

But frigid bears’ facsimile has also evolved.

They never transport in groups other than a mom and adult to dual cubs. It creates presence easier. Mating happens opportunistically, and there is justification that females can have “twins” from dual apart fathers.

But one of a many surprising adaptations is that frigid bears are means to put off a implantation of a fertilized egg in a womb until their bodies are fattened and healthy adequate to support an embryo.

Should it be a oppressive winter with wanting food, a fetus will be aborted. If there are twins, one could be aborted.

And if a womanlike can’t fodder adequate for herself and her pup to final until winter, she will quit lactating and her pup will die.

There is no pledge that this sold mom or a pup will survive. But there was something carefree in a cub’s chubbiness and in a fact that a mom shambled off, roughly now disintegrating into a tundra.

She wasn’t so unfortunate that she crunched a skeleton or continued ripping what small had been left behind by others on a carcass.



For 12 days, we am one of a organisation of absolved visitors, including dual scientists from a Vancouver Aquarium, on a 96-passenger speed boat operated by Squamish-based One Ocean Expeditions creation a tour by a Northwest Passage.

Click here to review some-more from Daphne Bramham’s Arctic series


About admin