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WINNIPEG, MANITOBA: Once again, Manitoba's polar bears grace the cover of National Geographic, with a stunning shot by renowned international photographer Norbert Rosing, on the February 2004 issue. The shot features two male bears play-fighting, something they do frequently in October and November while they await the ice freeze along the Hudson Bay coastline near Churchill, Manitoba.

Also in January, The Washington Post selected polar bear viewing from a tundra buggy in northern Manitoba as one of the top 10 hot international destinations for 2004. Who are we to argue? The experience of watching these majestic beasts in their white realm is like none other on Earth. Manitoba was the only Canadian destination selected for the top hot spot honor along with such places as New Zealand and the Bahamas.

Churchill's history and bears also received major billing in the December 22 issue of Maclean's, Canada's biggest newsmagazine, by the inimitable Will Ferguson, who covers his tundra vehicle experience with insight and humour. "Jackie's title makes me jumpy. Monitor? I would really have preferred 'polar bear defender' or 'polar bear fighter.'"

While the best polar bear viewing takes place in October and November while thousands of polar bears begin to congregate along the Hudson Bay coastline, Manitoba's wildlife viewing experiences are exceptional year-round. During spring and fall migrations, birding is spectacular in many parts of the province. Over the first hot weekend in May, tens of thousands of red-sided garter snakes emerge from limestone pits near Narcisse. Every July and August, visitors snorkel and kayak with thousands of beluga whales in the Seal and Churchill Rivers. September is prime elk and moose viewing in Riding Mountain National Park. Less accessible but no less spectacular are thousands of caribou migrating along northern eskers.

The second edition of Pelicans to Polar Bears: Watching Wildlife in Manitoba, published by Heartland Associates, and available through its website at offers detailed advice on the top sites to see polar bears as well as many other special Manitoba creatures.

To get information on wildlife viewing and other Manitoba experiences, click on the Planning and Activity Chart tabs under the Adventure Guide at or order all the guides by calling 1-800-665-0040, Ext. IZ3.

It is often said books feed the soul. We hope that our books will nourish the

spirit as well, encouraging exploration of some of North America's

fascinating places, personalities and issues.

HeartLand Associates

PO Box 103 RPO Corydon

Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada

R3M 3S7

phone: (204) 475-7720

fax: (204) 453-3615

Travel Manitoba

Ph: 204-945-2414