• Smithsonian Channel
    Polar Bear Town

    S1 E1 Welcome to Churchill

    Every fall, Churchill, Manitoba swells from a tiny town of 800 to one of 10,000--and all the new visitors are here to see 1,000 majestic, migrating polar bears. The business of being a bear guide is more difficult than ever, but veteran experts are determined to give the tourists the up-close experiences they want. This year, conservation officers are trying new tactics to help keep both the bears and people in town safe. Nobody knows what this year's bear season will bring.

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Polar Bear Town
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Every autumn, 1,000 polar bears share the small town of Churchill, Manitoba, with humans until the Arctic ice returns to Hudson Bay. It's a relatively peaceful coexistence, but this year will prove more challenging than ever. A longer summer has led to an earlier, and larger, influx of bears, and the fatal attack of a beloved dog has the community on edge. Follow these majestic beasts, the local guides who make their living from them, and the men and women who work round-the-clock to protect them through one especially tough season.
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Polar Bear Town