Environment
11:12 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Study Up For 'Think': Polarizing Bears?

How does the fate of polar bear populations speak to climate change? Zac Unger, author of Never Look a Polar Bear in the Eye: A Family Field Trip to the Arctic’s Edge in Search of Adventure, Truth, and Mini-Marshmallows, joins us at 1 p.m. to talk about the future -- and the majesty -- of polar bears.

Unger moved to frigid Churchill in Manitoba, Canada with his wife and small children. He hoped to document how climate change was affecting polar bears. And there was no more appropriate place: Churchill is the polar bear capitol of the world -- for a chunk of months each year, you'll find as many polar bears than people.

The bears wander into town at will. If citizens see a polar bear while they're sipping a cappuccino or dropping off their drycleaning, they call 675-BEAR and wildlife conservation officers come to try and scuttle the animal away or send it back to the wild via "bear lift" or "bear drop." An excerpt shows how the release of a polar bear by helicopter back into a more natural habitat becomes a ceremonial spectacle of sorts in the remote haven.

You can email questions or comments to host Krys Boyd: think@kera.org. Listen to Think from noon to 2 p.m., Monday through Thursday, on KERA 90.1 or stream the show at kera.org.