What I Know About...Polar Bears
by Jackie Orsulak
: Eat Garbage, Go to Jail
Many of the bears get so hungry that they raid the garbage dump on the outskirts of the town of Churchill, which is in Manitoba, Canada. After eating at the dump, they often wander into the town. There are bear alert signs all over town to warn people of the hungry bears, who could eat a person or a dog.
If they get into town they will be tranquilized or trapped and taken to the bear jail. The jail can hold about 20 bears. Each bear is in his own cage. If he has never been caught before, a tag is placed in his ear so they will know about him if he is caught again. He is not fed because he would not be eating if he were in the wild. If the jail gets too full, some of the bears are “paroled.” These bears are tranquilized, laid in a net and carefully airlifted by helicopter to a remote area far from Churchill.
In Canada they celebrate Halloween just like we do in the United States. The children dress up in costumes (no bear costumes though) and go trick-or-treating. To protect the children, people stand guard at every street watching for hungry bears. Churchill is a very small town, with two main roads and four crossroads, so they don’t need too many guards.
: Tundra Buggy Lodge
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