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Archive 2012 · Polar Bear Mum w/ Two Playing Newborn Cubs
  
 
Andrwe Bazeley
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Polar Bear Mum w/ Two Playing Newborn Cubs


This shot was taken on the day the mum left the den and started to travel towards the ice with her two cubs. This shot was taken in late February -- and what many people don't know is that this mum probably had not had a square meal since she left the melting ice, pregnant, in late May or early June of the previous year. During the warmer summer months, she would have been in a semi-dormant state on land, eating berries and scavenging for food -- but no good meals of seal. And then in late October to November, when the ice freeze-up occurs on Hudson Bay and the other bears head out to feed again, she would have traveled in the other direction to the denning area. And so she had been hanging out inthe den for several months -- giving birth around Xmas and raising these two - getting them strong enough to travel back to the ice. For probably a week or so prior to when this shot ws taken, she had been letting the two cubs take short trips from the den -- at first only a couple of minutes -- but as they gain strength and curiosity, for longer times. Sometimes, the mum will even take them to a day den, several hundred meters or more away ot help get them ready. And then, with her strength and milk supplies rapidly dwindling - and hoping desperately that the two cubs are strong enough to travel -- she departs the den and heads towards the ice which is about 60km away. But don't for a second think that this trip is a walk in the park (pun intended) -- she is only able to move them about 1-2km at a time and then has to stop to rest and feed them (and don't forget the dwindling milk supply). So she can only move them about 10km a day -- so it is a 6 day trip to the ice. Problem is the area they have to travel through has wolves, lots of wolves -- and these wolves are pretty good at seperating a mum with two cubs from one of them. IF she makes it to the ice with one cub she has done a darned good job - if she makes it with both cubs, she is a miracle worker. But it is not a cake walk once she gets them to the ice -- there she has to contend with male bears, who would jsut as soon eat a cub as a seal (no, I think they prefer seal -- but cubs are a tasty snack anyway). So when you see a mum bear with two yearling cubs -- or with a pair of two year old cubs -- you have to truly admire her for the remarkable survival skills and fierce mothering that it takes. These mother bears truly have the toughest job on the planet.
All the best, Andrew





Wapusk National Park, Manitoba, Canada, Nikon D300, VR 600mm f/4, f/4 @ 1/400, Iso 400




Jan 19, 2012 at 03:32 PM
gschrade
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Polar Bear Mum w/ Two Playing Newborn Cubs


Man, great lighting Andrew. Really nice shot.

George



Jan 19, 2012 at 04:01 PM
Bill Gass
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Polar Bear Mum w/ Two Playing Newborn Cubs


DAM what a shot, nice work, even got a foot print in the snow there.


Jan 19, 2012 at 04:04 PM
charlandk
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Polar Bear Mum w/ Two Playing Newborn Cubs


very very nice shot!
congrats



Jan 19, 2012 at 04:07 PM
DLP
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Polar Bear Mum w/ Two Playing Newborn Cubs


Great subject but it looks like it still needs a little more work in CS5. The entire right side of the Sow and the cub on the right need work on the edge.

Dave



Jan 19, 2012 at 04:10 PM
Lil Judd
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Polar Bear Mum w/ Two Playing Newborn Cubs


Wonderful information & subject. Lucky you to catch them.

Beautiful shot & light.

I also see the edge on the right side, but I wasn't going to make a big stink about it.

You must have the most amazing photography experiences Andrew

Lil



Jan 19, 2012 at 04:18 PM
DonGut
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Polar Bear Mum w/ Two Playing Newborn Cubs


Fantastic shot. Looks like a great day but probably very cold. I'm amazed that any cubs survive. You can certainly see how a few days lost on the ice in the spring could affect survival. This shot is a winner! Don


Jan 19, 2012 at 04:19 PM
Todd Warnke
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Polar Bear Mum w/ Two Playing Newborn Cubs


And I thought my Mom had it bad!

Lovely shot with fantastic light and wonderful interplay of warm and cool tones. I'm envious.

Peace,

Todd



Jan 19, 2012 at 04:21 PM
BearCreekLar
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Polar Bear Mum w/ Two Playing Newborn Cubs


What a super image! love it!
Larry



Jan 19, 2012 at 04:36 PM
gsmani
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Polar Bear Mum w/ Two Playing Newborn Cubs


Andrew:
a beautiful moment well caught. I have seen documentary of this saga and I agree these bears are incredible when it comes to survival.



Jan 19, 2012 at 04:40 PM
 

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CDaescher
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Polar Bear Mum w/ Two Playing Newborn Cubs


That's a very sweet looking image, Andrew. Love it.
Chris



Jan 19, 2012 at 05:32 PM
lgatlin
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Polar Bear Mum w/ Two Playing Newborn Cubs


Love your photo and story. Thank you for sharing!
Lonnie



Jan 19, 2012 at 05:34 PM
David Leask
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Polar Bear Mum w/ Two Playing Newborn Cubs


Fabulous shot Andrew. This coupled with the excellent information made it a most enjoyable post, thanks!
David



Jan 19, 2012 at 06:59 PM
PetKal
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Polar Bear Mum w/ Two Playing Newborn Cubs


A very nice scene recorded and interesting narrative.
Getting rid of green and orange cast would improve the overall picture effect.



Jan 19, 2012 at 07:02 PM
Martin Good
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Polar Bear Mum w/ Two Playing Newborn Cubs


Wonderful pic and a great narrative Andrew!
Martin



Jan 19, 2012 at 07:03 PM
B Benson
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Polar Bear Mum w/ Two Playing Newborn Cubs


Another great post. Bruce


Jan 19, 2012 at 07:07 PM
Lecani
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Polar Bear Mum w/ Two Playing Newborn Cubs


Excellent photograph Andrew.

You are right, tough times for the mother and I hope the cubs pull through



Jan 19, 2012 at 07:20 PM
waldr_p
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Polar Bear Mum w/ Two Playing Newborn Cubs


Lovely image Andrew.

Paul.



Jan 19, 2012 at 08:29 PM
PaulCal
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Polar Bear Mum w/ Two Playing Newborn Cubs


Simply amazing creatures, wonderful capture and documentation. Thanks for posting this and doing the writeup
Paul



Jan 19, 2012 at 10:15 PM
kmunroe
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Polar Bear Mum w/ Two Playing Newborn Cubs


very very nice Andrew


Jan 19, 2012 at 11:16 PM
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