Tatega, or Tat, is one of two WWF scholarship winners on the 2014 Students on Ice Arctic expedition currently making its way toward Greenland by boat. He is a high school student in the northern Canadian community of Pond Inlet, deep in the Arctic, fringing the Last Ice Area.
He’s currently far to the south of his home, in Torngat Mountains National Park, Labrador. Signs of polar bears are everywhere here. We’ve found countless piles of scat, a lemming warren torn apart by a hungry bear, and the skeletons of seals dragged onto the beach.
Today, we encountered two polar bears in the fuzzy flesh – luckily, from the safe distance of our ship. It was the first bear viewing for most students, but Tat is no stranger to these Arctic icons.
“[We see them] really often [in Pond Inlet]. When we go on the ice, we often see one at the floe edge .”
Do they ever come into town?
“Yeah, in summertime, but not very often.”
“When polar bears try to come into town, the people in town make it run away. The town talks about it on the radio and someone scares it away. It happens once in a while.”