Nanuk’s World

The capital of polar bears

Once a year Churchill becomes the world capital of polar bears. Between October and November, in this remote village of Canada (with a thousand inhabitants and two-hour flight from Winnipeg, or two days by train) overlooking the Hudson Bay, the bears wait the bay to freeze completely to move north, hunting for seals. Bears are hungry and come from a summer poor of food, almost of semi-fasting. To hunt seals the bay must be frozen, as bears hunt by biting the head of the seal when this emerges from the ice, to breathe. So, if in summer Churchill is a port where mostly of Canadian wheat arrives to be shipped to Europe, in winter Churchill becomes a tourist attraction.

There is no southernmost place in the world where you can observe so closely the nanuk (as the Inuit call these three meters high beasts), that for a month and a half wander around the village attracted by the smell of food. Of course, they represent a danger: for this is suggested to avoid to walk alone outside the village, and that’s why the police patrol the village day and night.