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Polar Bears
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Before we saw any bears we came across Ptarmigan several times - the male is the spotted bird - they are the "Chicken" of the Tundra

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Our first bear sighting - it's the cream blob at the bottom of the photo

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Two young males in front of one of two "Tundra Lodges" that are serviced by the Tundra Buggies

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The lodges stay in their location for the season and people are ferried out in buggies

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"Sparring" among young males is common - just like two dogs playing

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They can look menacing

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But it's all show

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The sparring seldom results in injury

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And then they fo back to sleeping

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This is "Kelp Girl" - as our Expedition Leader Sheri had nicknamed her

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The bears eat kelp to get much needed minerals

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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.

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Kelp Girl decided it was time for "a scratch"

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So she found some bushes that would get through her thick fur

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She spent a coule of minutes grooming herself

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That must feel so good

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Freshly preened - it's time for a stroll

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When the weather turns nasty many bears hunker down behind a stand of trees

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Next day, Kelp Girl decided to come right up to the rover

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Seems like she's eyeing "the meals" inside the rover?

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This turned into a real close encounter - she was just over 8 feeet tall - as I found out when I looked over the rail.

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Then she found a comfy spot to the rear of the rover

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Laying on their backs with their feet in the air allows them to cool down

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This was a very large male with what appears to be a piece of bark in his mouth

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Feet in the air - he too was cooling himself

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This was a small female - probably 3 or 4 years old

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if a rover stops in the tundra - there is genrally a bear nearby

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This was the last bear we saw - a very large male - sniffing the air

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Hmmm - is that "Meals on wheels" I see

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He strolled over for a closer look

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What a magnificent animal

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But don't be fooled - they are carnivours and they will eat you!

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OK - I guess sticking his tongue out is cute? - probably for cooling also - like dogs

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It's sad that climate change and the toxic waste from the Oil Sands will see the end of these magnificent creatures

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Are zoos really their only hope for survival?

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SO that's what is hidden beneath all that fur

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Our perception of them

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