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Nick Lunn

Studying the polar bears

Nick Lunn is originally from Manitoba. As a boy, he was especially fond of observing deer at dusk, in the company of his parents. After all, polar bears were quite rare in Edmonton!

In 1981, while studying at the University of Alberta, he noticed an ad for a summer job in the laboratory of Dr. Ian Sterling. The job involved splitting polar bear teeth to determine the animal’s age. That is what brought Nick Lunn to work in Churchill, Manitoba, on a project to study the behaviour of polar bears that hung around the town dump.

World polar bear capital

Nick Lunn is a biologist for the Canadian Wildlife Service. Since the beginning of the 1980s, he’s devoted his career to studying the world’s largest land carnivore. Twice a year, in spring and fall, he travels to Churchill, Manitoba to study the polar bear. 

The town of Churchill, dubbed “The Polar Bear Capital of the World”, is located on the shore of Hudson Bay. In summer, when the sea ice melts, the bears return to the shore. They remain there for three or four months, until the sea ice forms again and they can go out and hunt for the ringed seal. That’s why we see such large numbers of the white bears in the fall. 

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