Encountering a polar bear in nature is an experience rightly to be feared — unless, of course, you're part of an organized eco-tourism visit to one of the places where polar bears hang out. One of the very best is near the town of Churchill in Manitoba, Canada, a traditional stop on the polar bears' annual migration route. More than 1,000 bears "stop by" Churchill every fall, which makes a trip there one of those "visit nature" encounters not to be missed.
The Indianapolis Zoo has a long history with Polar Bears International, the nonprofit organization that works to protect and save these amazing animals, the largest land carnivore, and serves as an Arctic Ambassador for the group. That means the Zoo participates in programs that promote activities that will help protect the bears over the long term, such as working with students to plant trees that will help sustain our air quality and mitigate global warming. Polar bears are in danger because climate change is melting the Arctic ice sheet on which they depend for hunting and reproduction. In addition, the 2012 Indianapolis Prize was awarded to Dr. Steven Amstrup, the senior scientist for Polar Bears International, and he will receive the Lilly Medal and $100,000 to further his cause.
Our interest and commitment to polar bear conservation has prompted us to see if we can get more people involved in the effort to save them. So, next fall, the Indianapolis Zoo and Frontiers North Adventures have put together an incredible trip to meet the polar bears! This excursion to the wilds of Manitoba, Canada, brings you and your Zoo guide right into the Churchill Wildlife Management Area, the destination of the largest concentration of polar bears in the world. You will explore the tundra on the world-famous Tundra Buggies, encountering bears and other fascinating arctic creatures, while enjoying presentations by Polar Bears International and our own knowledgeable interpretive guides. Some of the fun options include a visit to the Eskimo Museum and a dog-sledding excursion.
For information on this once-in-a-lifetime travel opportunity, contact Jennifer Barker at (317) 630-2014 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Polar bear photo by Daniel J. Cox, polarbearsinternational.org