Sunday, January 27, 2013

Latest Uphere magazine: Polar bear invasion; "There aren’t just a few more bears. There are a hell of a lot more bears"

Besieged by bears |
In villages across the Arctic, Inuit are reporting an invasion. Polar bears, once rare, are now strolling the streets, peeking in windows, killing dogs – even stalking kids. No place has been more menaced than Arviat. By Jake MacDonald
...As Professor Derocher puts it, “some of these bears we think have been pushed off the ice early, away from their primary prey, so they get desperate.” Inuit hunter Darryl Baker scoffs at this contention. “Most of the bears coming into Arviat are fat and healthy. I skinned the bear that stalked my daughter last spring, and it had lots of fat on it.”

In 2012, the Nunavut government conducted a long-awaited census of western Hudson Bay polar bears and came up with 1,013 animals, or about twice as many as the number projected by environment Canada. Dr. Mitch Taylor, a lifelong polar bear scientist who, at times, has been ostracized by his peers for insisting that polar bear populations are generally stable, took some satisfaction from the results. “The Inuit were right. There aren’t just a few more bears. There are a hell of a lot more bears.”  [Via PolarBearScience]


Anonymous said...

Probably a lot more dogs too.

Anonymous said...

I was in Churchill three Augusts ago, when the polar bears were hanging around waiting for the conditions to be right for them to head north. There were lots of dogs ATTACHED TO CHAINS AND UNABLE TO GO ANWAY, none of whom were being eaten.

I was told polar bears fast at that time, but really they want fatty animals, not more protein. The husky pups and parents don't have enough fat on them to interest the bears (which have been known to kill seals and eat only the fat, leaving the rest behind).

A starving polar bear, however, will eat what is available, including other polar bears. And people, and dogs.

The fact that there are not a lot of moves on people or dogs says that polar bears are not unduly hungry. They are not afraid of us. Period. They have no enemies other than an orca.

When polar bears start knocking down doors (which they have done in Churchill, 'cause even some are mean and nasty while on a fast) and going after people in their homes, I'll believe that we have a hungry polar bear or three around.

Anonymous said...

2 tings I am aware of. The poles are shifting and moving towards Siberia. Obviously those folks in Churchil will be relieved beyond imagination while the 2nd is those folk are very lucky they diidn't have McDonalds or Burger King cause the blimps who eat that stuff can't run and you can smell them miles away.