These polar bears are just waking up from their summer hibernation.

By Andrea Romano
October 29, 2020
Migrating Polar Bears, Manitoba, Canada
Credit: Larry Williams/Getty Images

The polar bears are on the move. And you’ll get to see a glimpse of them next week.

Polar Bear Week, an annual event put on by Polar Bears International, kicks off the yearly migration of polar bears to Churchill, Manitoba, Canada with educational activities and events, climate change initiatives, and live cams for animal lovers to see the polar bears in action, according to Lonely Planet.

Throughout the first week of November (and beyond), the bears will be gathering in Churchill to wait for the temperatures to drop and the waters to freeze before they can start hunting again, according to Lonely Planet. Since the summer, they have been in hibernation –– so be prepared to see lots of hungry and sleepy bears via the organization’s livestreams.

“We’re gonna see a lot of sleepy bears for sure,” said Alysa McCall, staff scientist and director of conservation outreach at Polar Bears International, to Lonely Planet. “For the most part, they're trying to conserve energy – they haven't really had a good meal since maybe May or June. So we see a lot of sleeping and a lot of stretching – you know, working out the old bones.” 

McCall added: “But we also see a lot of curious bears...If we're lucky, we'll see a bit of sparring,” she says. “They might actually play-wrestle for us.” Consider us fully hyped to see drowsy, playful bears.

Alongside livestreams (some of which will also feature live chats with scientists and experts), polar bear enthusiasts can track the bears’ migration from Polar Bears International's research vehicle, as well as some fun and educational events, Lonely Planet reported. You can get a daily dose of the organization’s Polar Bear Cam every day if you just want to see the bears in their natural habitat.

In addition, the organization is also planning several special events, including a “Zen Out With Polar Bears” event on Tuesday, Nov. 3, just in time for everyone to enjoy some relaxation before election results roll in, Lonely Planet reported. 

Other events include the “Phenomena of Polar Bear Migration,” a live virtual field trip on Nov. 12 that lets you see how the bears get to Manitoba every year. A full listing of Polar Bears International’s fall programming can be found on the organization’s schedule online

While the programming is certainly good for people who just love seeing animals, it also serves a greater purpose for conservation and fighting climate change. “We hope Polar Bear Week encourages people to pause, appreciate, and listen to this species,” said executive director Krista Wright in a statement. “If we act swiftly and collectively to make a bold transition to renewable energy, and away from fossil fuels, we can preserve polar bears for future generations.”

For more information about Polar Bear Week, visit the Polar Bears International website.

Andrea Romano is a freelance writer in New York City. Follow her on Twitter @theandrearomano.