Teen Arctic Ambassador: Day 3

Some of the teen ambassadors in front of the Polar Bear Holding Facility.

Rachel is the San Diego Zoo’s 2010 Teen Arctic Ambassador. She is sharing what she learns at Polar Bears International’s Teen Leadership Camp. Read her previous post, Teen Arctic Ambassador: Day 2.

Today (October 12) was a very eventful day full of learning about the little town of Churchill. In the morning, we made our way to the home of a local trapping couple, Jim and Betty. I learned a lot about their lives as trappers and how much they relied on the land for their source of income, and it gave me a new perspective on the lives of local townspeople. I learned that they had immense respect for the animals they harvested. Their stories showed how close the people of Churchill are to nature and how much they respect it.

Rachel is in front of some of the polar bear traps used around town.

The next stop on our journey around town was to the Polar Bear Holding Facility, previously called D-20. It is a “polar bear jail,” where polar bears are held for a period of time if they are found coming too close to the people in town. We learned about how polar bears are shooed away from town and how traps are set around the perimeters of the town to catch a bear that is wandering too close to the townspeople. The information we learned at the Holding Facility made us realize how much the polar bears’ lives are intertwined with the town, and Churchill sure lives up to its name: Polar Bear Capital of the World.

The rest of the day was filled with museums and a lecture about global climate change and carbon dioxide. It was really an experience when all of the ambassadors came together to talk about how we can inspire change in our communities when we return from Leadership Camp. I learned a lot today about Churchill, and the day was completed when we saw a fabulous show of the Northern Lights. I can’t wait to go out on the Tundra Buggy Lodge tomorrow morning! So far, Canada has been an amazing experience!

Read blog posts from the other Teen Arctic Ambassadors…

3 Responses to Teen Arctic Ambassador: Day 3

  1. Sorry Rachel, but I take offense at the word “harvest,” a word that killers like to use to describe slaughtering of wild animals or domesticated animals. There are many of us that would like to see animals protected and not interfered with by humans. So often the killing is done in a very inhumane method. Domestic horses are “harvested,” whales are “harvested,” and on an on. These animals were not raised to feed humans, unlike cows or pigs or sheep. I’m really sorry that one so young would be exposed to human hunters of wild animals.

    I know this is a controversial topic but I feel it needs to be addressed.

  2. Rachel your blogs are wonderful. You are such a beautiful writer that you have to find a job that uses these skills also because you will impact people with your words. I have enjoyed all your enties and await the next one. Glad you are liking Churchill and it’s people and polar bears.

  3. @B.P.
    you need to calm down, when she used harvest she was talking about trappers who respected the animals they made a living off of. In no way should that be offensive. Rachel is just getting the emotion she felt from the trapper couple to us!
    Wonderful article Rachel!