Before we saw any bears we came across Ptarmigan several times - the male is the spotted bird - they are the "Chicken" of the Tundra
Our first bear sighting - it's the cream blob at the bottom of the photo
Two young males in front of one of two "Tundra Lodges" that are serviced by the Tundra Buggies
The lodges stay in their location for the season and people are ferried out in buggies
"Sparring" among young males is common - just like two dogs playing
They can look menacing
But it's all show
The sparring seldom results in injury
And then they fo back to sleeping
This is "Kelp Girl" - as our Expedition Leader Sheri had nicknamed her
The bears eat kelp to get much needed minerals
By this time of year the bears have fasted for several months and waiting for the Sea Ice to form to get to thier preferred prey - Seals.
Kelp Girl decided it was time for "a scratch"
So she found some bushes that would get through her thick fur
She spent a coule of minutes grooming herself
That must feel so good
Freshly preened - it's time for a stroll
When the weather turns nasty many bears hunker down behind a stand of trees
Next day, Kelp Girl decided to come right up to the rover
Seems like she's eyeing "the meals" inside the rover?
This turned into a real close encounter - she was just over 8 feeet tall - as I found out when I looked over the rail.
Then she found a comfy spot to the rear of the rover
Laying on their backs with their feet in the air allows them to cool down
This was a very large male with what appears to be a piece of bark in his mouth
Feet in the air - he too was cooling himself
This was a small female - probably 3 or 4 years old
if a rover stops in the tundra - there is genrally a bear nearby
This was the last bear we saw - a very large male - sniffing the air
Hmmm - is that "Meals on wheels" I see
He strolled over for a closer look
What a magnificent animal
But don't be fooled - they are carnivours and they will eat you!
OK - I guess sticking his tongue out is cute? - probably for cooling also - like dogs
It's sad that climate change and the toxic waste from the Oil Sands will see the end of these magnificent creatures
Are zoos really their only hope for survival?
SO that's what is hidden beneath all that fur
Our perception of them