The Cochrane Polar Bear Habitat regularly collaborates with conservation and research institutions from within Canada and Internationally. Our shared goals are to learn more about polar bears and how we can care for them, both in human care and in the wild.
All studies are either non-invasive, or the bears can voluntarily take part if they choose to. This allows researchers to gain the most accurate information whilst maintaining the highest standard of welfare for our bears.
Drone footage courtesy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration who used drones to take thermal images of our bears in order to fine tune technologies used for studying wild bears.
University of Toronto - Stephanie Penk.
Weekly measurements of our bears head and body lengths were taken. These measurements, along with the bears' diets and weights were used to calculate how much energy polar bears use when they grow.
Dalhousie University - Dr. Stephanie Collins.
Our bears were fed a portion of seaweed, collected from the Hudson Bay Coast, for 28 days. Blood, saliva and fecal samples were then collected and analyzed to identify changes and possible benefits to the bears' health. Wild polar bears are seen eating large amounts of seaweed but no one knows why - hopefully this study will help us find out why!
Education is a key element in achieving our conservation goals. We strive to educate all ages, both in person and virtually.
For guests who visit us here in Cochrane, we offer daily educational talks, as well as opportunities to speak with our Animal Care team during their interactions with the bears and movements around the facility.
The Viewers Building, with an underwater vantage point showcasing the Arctic Enclosure pool, offers a range of informational and interactive exhibits.
We can tailor our educational programming to suit the needs of any class, from daycare through to university age. Some past topics have included polar bear ecology, arctic ecosystems and climate change.
If you are interested in booking a talk for your class, either onsite at The Habitat or virtually, please contact us.