If you have never been to the Journey to Churchill exhibit at the Assiniboia Park Zoo in Winnipeg, I highly recommend it.  I do not condone wild animals being held in captivity and honestly, I avoid these sorts of exhibits at all costs – sometimes we do it for our kids even though we don’t necesarily agree with it.  Regardless, this exhibit and research facility at the zoo has saved countless bears from being euthanized because they have become problem bears.

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This year Colton and I attended on an afternoon when we were in the city and had nothing to do.  We went for two of the exhibits, the bears & seals – they are also there because they have been badly injured in the wild and after rehabilitation would not survive in the wild – and to see the stingray exhibit.  We had the opprotunity to pet stingrays in Minneapolis a few years back but thought we would check this out too.  While the stingrays were interesting, its the bears that keep me going back.

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On our first walk through, no one was swimming but we did come around the corner to one display area to catch the start of a “fight”.

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I was thrilled.  After getting the news about my camera sensor and being upset, I thought, here is the chance to get some great shots AND find out for sure if I can see the damage on my photos.  I took at least forty or fifty pictures.

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New to me, a pool that they have built by this viewing area.  It was quite deep and you couldn’t see the bears bobbing around in the water and it appeared they needed to take quite the leap to get in.  We watched this for about 5 or so minutes while these 3 bears played.  One was more passive and wasn’t really interested in the chase but did get the odd jab in.


Or maybe he was just a lazy bear.

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After watching the lazy bear drink water and becoming impatient waiting for the other two to get out of the pool, we carried on to the stringrays.

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When we got to the stingray exhibit and I took a quick look at the shots I got I realized that while my camera was being cleaned my shooting mode dial had been changed.  I’ll admit that I am guilty of never double checking BEFORE I start taking photos and I am bad at not taking a test shot.  Well, my camera was set to manual which was perfect for what I was doing with it the night before when I was taking photos of the moon!  Another lesson learned because a full moon is to bright to shoot, you loose the fine details.  My summer photography has been full of lessons.

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Needless to say, back at the hotel, it took me a while to salvage some of the photos, most of which I just converted to black & white to save them.  Thank goodness for shooting in RAW and thank goodness for Photoshop!

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I hope to one day go on the Tundra Buggy – its on my bucket list – and witness these creatures in their natural habitat.  No dirty glass.  And hopefully by then I’ll have learned to always check my camera settings first and remember that a test shot is so important.  I knew this fly by the seat of your pants crap was going to catch up with me one day.


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