The Polar Bears of Churchill with Ewan McGregor

Follow as he travels to a remote Canadian outpost on Hudson Bay, where he investigates the annual invasion of hungry polar bears.

Churchill, in the Canadian province of Manitoba, occupies a spit of land that provides the fastest access onto the ice, and the bears are in no mood for any detours once the waters of Hudson Bay begin to freeze. So they congregate near the town and prowl the landscape for appetizers before the main course becomes accessible.

Ewan McGregor puts himself in the middle of the action as town and wildlife authorities skillfully cope with both the would-be marauders of the furry variety, and the throngs of tourists who descend upon the town to see the bears, often at considerable risk to themselves.

Along with McGregor, viewers get a close-up look at how polar bears that wander into town are sedated, carted off to polar bear “jail,” and eventually hoisted by helicopter onto the frozen bay. It’s a dramatic reversal from years ago, when bears invading human space often were shot, sometimes after lethal encounters with people.

Online content for The Polar Bears of Churchill with Ewan McGregor was originally posted May 2002.

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