Arctic Vets (2021)

In Manitoba, at the Assiniboine Park Conservancy, there is a specialized animal hospital for arctic species. Head vet Dr. Chris Enright and his intrepid team of vet techs and specialists work to keep the animals of the Great White North happy and healthy in the rough terrain.

Their work is dangerous and very physical treating large wild animals, but their dedication to the creatures that live in the cold climate is unwavering. Where else can you hold your morning meeting in a polar bear path, watching the large white bears swimming above as you sip your coffee?

From polar bears wandering into the town of Churchill, which is in their migration path, to an ageing lynx, falcons who need their talons clipped, and x-rays for seals, no day is the same. The catch and release program for wayward Ursus maritimus, or “sea bears” is only one way these professionals handle animal safety and welfare. This program also gives Dr. Enright a chance to check out the bears, making sure they’re healthy and ready to be released back into the wild. Polar bears who can’t be released are kept safe in captivity, learning different commands so the animal specialists can assess them.

This CBC original show gives us a look at the hard work to care for wild animals and how the professionals involved are a huge part of animal conservation in the North.

Review by Carolyn Mauricette

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Winnipeg, Manitoba