This is week 15 for most polar bears onshore near Churchill in Western Hudson Bay, which means they have been onshore for almost 4 months. Still, photos being circulated are still showing bears in excellent condition and we are just waiting to see if freeze-up this year is as early as it has been for the last two years.
Last week (9 October) a fat young female bear (likely 2-3 years old), said to have weighed 200 lbs, led Churchill conservation officers on a merry chase as she did some exploring around town (CBC 10 October 2019), read it here. She ended up in the Churchill polar bear jail:
“Bears like this 200-pound female will end up in a holding facility for 30 days, and then released about 40 kilometres out of town.“
However, if conditions are as good this year as they have been for the last few years, she may be able to do without the flight north: by 9-10 November last year, ice had already formed along the shore and bears were leaving town.
Here is the Polar Bear Alert report for week 14 (30 September -6 October):
Compared to the same time last year (below), this year has been very quiet: