105-year-old woman’s polar-bear dream comes true in Churchill

Polar bear in Churchill

At 105 years old, Pauline Page has lived through both World Wars, the lunar landing, and the invention of the internet and the computer.

Yet there’s one thing she’s never seen before: polar bears.

“I’ve never seen one, not even in a zoo,” Page told The Star Phoenix. “We figured it was time.”

Earlier this month, that lifelong dream came true for Page when she and her two daughters traveled from Saskatoon to Churchill, Man. to catch a glimpse of the beautiful bears.

Once Page arrived in Churchill, known as the polar bear capital of the world, she and her daughters jumped onto a tundra buggy, a massive all-terrain vehicle that was invented in 1979 to view, photograph and study polar bears.

Within minutes of boarding the buggy, Page saw her first polar bear.

In fact, she spotted three at once.

“I saw a mother bear and two cubs, which was my best wish and we saw others besides,” Page told the CBC. “Oh it was wonderful.”

Pauline Page posing in the tundra buggy driver's seat.
Pauline Page posing in the tundra buggy driver’s seat.

Armed with her camera, Page saw as many as 25 polar bears on her trip, more than the average for that time of year. A tundra buggy operator in the area told the CBC that said he’s been seeing around 10 to 15 a day.

And her adventure almost got even crazier when the owner of the tundra buggy asked if Page wanted to take the wheel. She politely declined, as she hadn’t had her license in years.

Now that the centenarian has checked seeing a polar bear off her bucket list, she doesn’t have any other big plans lined up now.

“I take it day by day,” she told The Star Phoenix. “It’s been a pretty good life.”