With global temperatures rising, the areas most affected are out of sight from many. And those hit the hardest can’t help themselves: they are the animals living in freezing temperatures, forced to rely on diminishing ice floes and weakened habitats. The Google Maps team recently trekked out to Churchill, Manitoba, a secluded peninsular Arctic town on the coast of Hudson Bay known as “The Polar Bear Capital of the World”, to show the world what life is like among the black-nosed beauties:
The video is part of Google Maps’ “Street View Treks” series, which targets the world’s most impressive, under-appreciated or famous sites—The Great Barrier Reef, the Grand Canyon, Mt. Fuji, the capital of Nunavut. In this case, Google uses its Street View technology to offer armchair travelers a comprehensive virtual tour of the polar bears’ habitat.
In addition to some beautiful shots of Canadian tundra, the video focuses on polar bear preservation and the efforts of Polar Bears International, a conservation group trying to raise climate change awareness and preserve the polar ice floes.
But most of all, the video excels at capturing how endearingly gentle polar bears really are, which, in the end, may be the strongest selling point for Polar Bears International. Surely that’s the point of Google Maps’ cooperation in the project: when we see the damage we’re doing, we’re inclined to stop.
“Seeing the bears waiting on the shores of Hudson Bar, you get instilled with a sense of awe.” –Leah Knickerbocker