Photographing Polar bears in their natural habitat is one of the highlights of my photography collection. I visited Churchill, Manitoba, Canada in 2014 and spent several days with them on the shores of the Hudson Bay. I plan to photograph them again someday soon, in Alaska, or in Svalbard, Norway, if possible. They are an amazing animal, and probably my top apex predator.
Polar bears were over hunted in the last century, but have rebounded in recent decades to a total world population of around 26,000 bears. They do face some significant struggles though due to the declining arctic ice pack. They rely on the ice to effectively hunt, which their favorite food is seals, targeting ringed and bearded seals due to their high fat content. Less ice means fewer chances to hunt seals. This is dangerous for the bears, because it limits their food supply, but also pushes them into areas with more people, which in turn leads to them being killed or relocated.
This is one of my favorite photos I got while in Churchill. It was a brief second in time when this massive polar bear stopped and looked directly at us as he was making his way across the ice. It only lasted a second, but it is one I won’t forget, as our eyes locked, it seemed we both understood our existent in that moment.
Any polar bear print sold in 2021 will include an arctic adoption in your name through Polar Bears International. This symbolic adoption in your name will help real polar bears in the wild. By adopting a bear, you’ll support research, education and action efforts.