Webcam offers live views of migrating polar bears in Canada


A polar bear at Hudson Bay, where it will hunt for seals. (Paul J. Richards/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE VIA GETTY IMAGES)
November 21, 2011

The once-rare sight of polar bears migrating in Canada can now be seen by just about anyone, thanks to a live webcam.

Every fall, hundreds of polar bears travel through the small town of Churchill, Manitoba, in central Canada, on their way to Hudson Bay, where they hunt for seals on the ice. For years, the journey has been seen for the most part by scientists. But now, thanks to a grant of $50,000, a vehicle called the Tundra Buggy roams the area with a camera whose live pictures anyone can see at www.explore.org. (Always ask a parent before going online.)

The bears are in a state called walking hibernation, according to scientists. Krista Wright of Polar Bears International says the images help raise awareness about climate change’s impact on habitats. In the case of the polar bears, Hudson Bay freeze-ups are coming later each year — and melt-offs sooner — which means the animals have less time to hunt. That’s why this population is considered among the most endangered.

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