Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Polar Bear Walks Into A Bar

A polar bear walks into a bar. The bartender says: "Hey, you're not allowed in here!" The bear looks around and says "Well, then kick me out, will you?" The bartender considers this for a moment and says: "No, but I'm gonna call the Polar bear police, and they will throw you into the Polar bear prison!"

Churchill, on the Hudson Bay, is a town of about 850 residents, with close to 1,300 polar bears roaming the area around it from June to late November. Polar bears are intelligent animals and know that the nightlife in town is much better than out there in the woods, especially when autumn comes and the bears begin to get excited towards their return to the frozen ocean. What a better way to wait in great anticipation than to walk into a bar in Churchill?

The Polar Bear Alert Program is in fact the main police force in Churchill. At a town where the access to and from is only by train or aircraft, you don't need too many cops. They just swing by the train station once a day before the departure, then off to the airport, and pick up all the thieves trying to escape town, and that's it!

But bears are different, and they can get into town and roam the street at any time. When this happens, the Polar Bear Alert staff quickly gets there. First, they try to scare the bear off to leave town. If this does not work, they shoot some arrows into the bear's skin, and haul it up to the Polar Bear Holding Facility. (click on any photo to enlarge)

The holding facility is like a prison. The bears sit in cages, bang on the walls and demand all sorts of things. But at least the government does not need to feed them, since the bears do not eat anything during the summer - They only feed on seal once they get on the sea-ice during winter. The holding facility contains five cells.

Usually, when winter is around the corner and the sea-ice begins to form, the bears are transported by truck (tranquilized, of course) onto the shore, where they are released and get on the ice for the winter. However, in a typical summer more Polar bears are captured than there are cells, and so they are transported further north of the city to be released in the woods and spend there the remainder of the hot season.

First, the tranquilized bears are brought outside surrounded by "armed guards":

Hey - A double package today!!!:

Then, the staff wraps them with a large net:

Look, ma, airmail delivery today!!!:

The helicopter which will transport the bears to the remote territory where their destined to stay till the winter is there, and the Polar Bear Alert staff are tying the net to it. Then - Liftoff!:

The chopper flies away. Once it lands, the bear will be released. The guard stays there until the bear wakes up, makes sure it is healthy and well, and then calls the aircraft to take it back home. End of story! Boy do they look like two big pieces of meat, don't they?

Read my post Yogi Polar Bear

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How well do the bears do at the bar? I bet they "bare" all!

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