Cochrane, Ontario – Now, here’s an experience that will astound your friends back home. At the Polar Bear Habitat and Heritage Village in Cochrane Ontario it has been possible for visitors to ‘ swim with their polar bears.’ I recorded this video with Nanook, a 30 year-old polar bear, in 2012. Unfortunately he has since passed away. The new addition to the Habitat is a young 750 lb bear named Ganuk, and the swim opportunity is once again available. More details about him are available at their website. There’s a wading pool beside the polar bear pool and while you are in it you are separated from the great white giants by a thick protective glass divider. Both children and adults can try it.The Habitat is open year-round, but the ‘polar bear swim’ is only available in the summer.
After being found as cubs Aurora and Nikita spent eight years growing up at Cochrane’s Polar Bear Habitat Heritage Village. On July 4, 2009 they moved to the Toronto Zoo’s $10 million 10-acre Tundra Trek.
Cochrane is a 7 hour drive north of Toronto. It’s located about 100 km (62 miles) north of Timmins on Hwy 11. This is part of Yonge St, which at more than 1800 km is known as the longest street in the world (this is also part of the Trans-Canada Hwy.)
From Cochrane you can take the Polar Bear Express, a service that takes you 300-kilometres (186 miles) north to Moosonee, on James Bay, the edge of the Arctic.
Cochrane is also the birthplace of Tim Horton the hockey player who launched Canada’s incredibly popular coffee / doughnut chain.
Have you experienced the polar bear swim? Please share…
Polar Bear Habitat, Cochrane Ontario CA