VIDEO: Is tourism taming polar bears?

Polar bear tracks in Nunavut, Canada. Photo: Levon Sevunts, Radio Canada International.That’s the question some northern communities along the west coast of Canada’s Hudson Bay are starting to ask.

Churchill, Canada, a northern community of approximately 900 people in Manitoba province, has long been touted as the polar bear capital of the world. Travellers from all over the world come here to ride in what’s known as tundra buggies for a chance to see and photograph polar bears up close.

But locals and conservation officers say the bears are increasingly showing up in town. Some are wondering if the tourism industry has made the bears less afraid of people.

In this video from CBC reporter Reg Sherren, we hear from Churchill residents and Inuit hunters from the Hudson Bay community of Arviat who’ve had near misses with polar bears everywhere from their children’s schools to their own homes.

To watch, click here.

Write to Eilís Quinn at eilis.quinn(at)

Eilís Quinn, Eye on the Arctic

Eilís Quinn is an award-winning journalist and manages Radio Canada International’s Eye on the Arctic news cooperation project. Eilís has reported from the Arctic regions of all eight circumpolar countries and has produced numerous documentary and multimedia series about climate change and the issues facing Indigenous peoples in the North.

Her investigative report "Death in the Arctic: A community grieves, a father fights for change," about the murder of Robert Adams, a 19-year-old Inuk man from Arctic Quebec, received the silver medal for “Best Investigative Article or Series” at the 2019 Canadian Online Publishing Awards. The project also received an honourable mention for excellence in reporting on trauma at the 2019 Dart Awards in New York City.

Her report “The Arctic Railway: Building a future or destroying a culture?” on the impact a multi-billion euro infrastructure project would have on Indigenous communities in Arctic Europe was a finalist at the 2019 Canadian Association of Journalists award in the online investigative category.

Her multimedia project on the health challenges in the Canadian Arctic, "Bridging the Divide," was a finalist at the 2012 Webby Awards.

Her work on climate change in the Arctic has also been featured on the TV science program Découverte, as well as Le Téléjournal, the French-Language CBC’s flagship news cast.

Eilís has worked for media organizations in Canada and the United States and as a TV host for the Discovery/BBC Worldwide series "Best in China."

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