A trip to polar bear country

Published on 10.04.2007 - Global Warming 101 Expedition

Observing polar bears

Observing polar bears

© International Polar Foundation

The Global Warming 101 expedition left Qikiqtarjuaq on Sunday April 1st around noon. They are now on their way to the next stage, Clyde River (see map we have published on March 31st).

A couple of slices of grilled cheese and a bit of onion soup, along with good humour and a frank companionship, this is what the inhabitants of Qikiqtarjuaq gave the members of the expedition before they continued their journey north.

After having spent their first night at the bottom of a huge iceberg, the expedition found themselves in what the inhabitants over there call the polar bear region. On the Baffin Island, polar bears are, of course, everywhere; but, while in the Hudson Bay region, on the west coast of the island, polar bear populations seem to be going down, here on the contrary, along the Davis Straight, local inhabitants claim they are clearly rising. In their opinion, this is due to the fact that less polar bears are hunted on this side of the island than on the other side, being that there is less sea ice on that side.

Walking for days in polar bear region, the expedition's members are given the opportunity to meditate on this fascinating subject, by handing the floor over to those who know these animals the best – whether white or Inuit.

Global Warming 101 is approaching Clyde River, a small village of 800 inhabitants also called Kangiqtugaapik (a pretty little bay, see opposite picture). The expedition should arrive within a couple of days.

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