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Polar Bears Play With Canadian Eskimo Dogs (VIDEO)

Zoesnow_thumb By MissT | January 11, 2012 | Comments (8)

created at: 2012-01-11
Photo by Nobert Rosing

In 1992 a wildlife photographer Norbert Rosing, who did work for National Geographic and other magazines, was visiting Churchill, Manitoba in Canada and went to see a sled dog kennel owned by breeder Brian Ladoon.

While visiting, a large male polar bear appeared out of nowhere and approached one of the dogs. The dog stayed put and wagged its tail, and the bear and dog began gently touching each others noses and began to play. The two men were shocked. Rosing took out his camera and captured the encounter.


A second polar bear then also appeared and also joined in the play with the dog. For the next week the bears came back and played with the dogs. Then they vanished. Rosing thought that the encounter demonstrated very unusual behavior, given that dogs and bears are natural enemies. It was a one in a million encounter to witness.

Husky and polar bear
Photo by Nobert Rosing

Flashforward to present day and it appears that Brian Ladoon has capitalized on the encounter for many years. According to some tourists and scientists, Ladoon owns a large piece of property that he keeps fenced in. He charges people to take them on his property to see polar bears, where he also has his Canadian Eskimo dogs. He allegedly leaves excessive food out for the dogs, which in turn attracts the hungry polar bears. That's where the footage of the video comes from, captured by a film crew visiting his property.

Then this past year, Ladoon and his dogs were the subject of a documentary film called "The Last Dogs of Winter". The documentary reveals that Ladoon is on a mission to preserve and breed the rarest registered breed in the world, the Canadian Eskimo Dogs (aka 'Inuit Dogs' or 'Qimmiq'). According to the film's director, "His efforts have inspired both admiration and fierce criticism, largely because Ladoon's dogs share their pitiless natural environment with itinerant wild polar bears, and his practices are seen by some to be inhumane."

The director also points out, "The interface between people, animals, and nature is always a tricky balance in Churchill. Ladoon's choice of location for his dog colony has created great problems for him, and an opportunity that has excited both envy and disapproval. The dogs share a barren point of land overlooking Hudson Bay that happens to be very popular with migrating polar bears. This has made Ladoon a target for complaints from locals and tourism operators who believe he has unfair access to a valuable tourism site; from wildlife purists who decry the habituation of polar bears to humans; and animal rights proponents, who claim he is exploiting both dogs and bears, and endangering both for profit."

Ladoon is certainly a polarizing controversial figure to say the least.

It is truly fascinating to realize that the chance encounter between a polar bear and dog over 20 years ago has strongly affected the destiny of the dogs, people and polar bears lliving in the remote region of Hudson Bay.


A trailer for the documentary



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Comments on this Article

As a husky owner while I'm not defending what this guy does, it certainly isn't cruel to have them out in very cold weather, mine gets very hot in the house and loves nothing more to lie flat on his back in the snow fast asleep. chains or ropes are usually a must as well, they are very independent spirited dogs and not really even tame, if I was to let him off his lead he would head straight for sheep, rabbits or anything that moves and are so focused on moving forward would head towards moving traffic. Saying that Huskys are the most rewarding breed you could want, loving, intelligent and when they talk to you, funny as hell
To isidro, You are right that dogs can be killed by bears--it has already happened, but Brian Ladoon keeps chaining his dogs out and leaving out dog food that attracts bears.
These dogs could easily be killed by accident as their chains could choke them or injure them while in the grasp of one of those huge bears. Chaining them while being exposed to Polar Bears is inhumane.
This should not be allowed. The poor dogs are chained for god sakes. Stupid. Wish thy could stop him
I wish someone would chain the owner up without shelter and rescue the dogs.
In the second paragraph of this article, it says, "While visiting, a large male polar bear appeared out of nowhere and approached one of the dogs. The dog stayed put..." Of course the dog stayed put--the poor dog is chained in place!
I agree with RubyB... the dogs are exploited for business purposes, the dogs are in dangerous conditions..
http://mytraveltales.com/2008/11/13/update-on-polar-bears-and-dogs/ Mr. Ladoon has had several dogs killed by polar bears. I've read other articles about this, but included the above linked article because it is very well written. Like many mushers, his dogs are chained out in all weather, without shelter. They do not often get off the chain. They have no way to escape from bears who want to either eat them or eat their food. I believe this man only has these dogs in order to make money for them. I agree with the author of the linked article--do not pay Mr. Ladoon money. You can see bears anywhere in his town without paying. If you pay him money, you are encouraging him to continue keeping his dogs in inhospitable and dangerous conditions.
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