Polar Play~

We are seeing polar bear everyday here in The Hudson Bay!

This series of shots are a mama and cub at play.

Polar Bear health is rated on a scale of 1-5, with 1 being too thin and starving, and 5 being overfed and obese.

I am happy to report that all the bears we are seeing are healthy fours!

The population of polar bears at Hudson Bay are thought to number between 900-1000.

Some estimates indicate Hudson Bay populations may have declined approximately 17%- 22% in recent years, but they have rebounded from all time population lows in the 1950’s-70’s.

All the bears we are seeing look really healthy.

During the end of August, polar bears are in a state of semi-stuporous, walking hibernation, waiting for the waters of the bay to freeze up, so they can head out and hunt seals.

They still do eat and hunt though, and I will show you some photos of this in my next post.

But, for the most part, these lazy August days are spent sleeping, playing and swimming.

This little cub though, seems quite intent on depriving mama of her nap!

The affection between them was beautiful to see.

Cheers to you from the happy, healthy bears of The Hudson Bay~

350 thoughts on “Polar Play~

    • They are just spectacular. They seem like more remote, white, grizzlies, and they eat all sorts of stuff, grass, berries, et al, which seemed so logical to me, since grizzlies do the same thing, all the time. Grizzlies eat lots of plants, lots of the time. Maybe the reason the polar bears in Hudson Bay are doing slightly better than polar bears in Norway and further north, is they have summer grazing with plants and such, and are not utterly dependent on seals.

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  1. Cindy, what a magical sight to behold and thank you for sharing with us here! 😀 It is wonderful to see them so playful and affectionate with each other, looking incredibly healthy and happy. I always feel for the polar bears in zoos, even in the better ones, they always seem sad and unwell. Amazing personable photos! Can’t wait for the next post! Xx

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    • Polar Bears in zoos are sad sights, especially in San Diego where it is so hot. They put chunks of ice in the outdoor exhibits in the summer but now that I have learned how polar bear skin and fur generates heat, I feel especially bad for them. Polar Bears are marine mammals made for arctic seas.

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  2. Oh my goodness, they are so majestic and at the same time so adorable! And as usual your photography is fantastic, Cindy, I’m enjoying looking at their play, in the idyllic scenery, and their fascinating facial expressions. Thanks for these! Cheers 🙂

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    • Ahhh, makes me happy I posted Halim. Thank you. They just are incredibly fascinating creatures to watch. We watched a big male swim in Hudson Bay in a zodiac. Just incredible, and so much more bear behavior, including a mom and cub sharing a kill. I will post more photos soon and am happy you enjoyed. Thank care my friend ก็็็็็็็็็็็็็ʕ•͡ᴥ•ʔ ก้้้้้้้้้้้

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  3. No snow? I hope that you at a healthy distance with binoculars and telephoto lens. I am reminded of kayaking on Kodiak Island some years ago, when a mother-cub were walking along the beach. They passed over a burn and disappeared behind it. The guide pulled us up the shore & told ME to hop out to get a photo when they appeared again. Yikes! The burn was only 40 feet from the water… what if they came back toward me. Fortunately, and maybe the guide knew their path, they showed up on the hillside for some great shots (very limited telephone lens at the time). – Oscar

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    • Wow. That clearly raised your blood pressure. I do not like encountering grizzlies unexpectedly on trails, scares the beejeezus out of me, but I do love observing them at a safe distance, same with polar bears. It protects me and the bears. I so wanted to walk to the birds in Churchill in the ponds by the old port. There were dancing sandhill cranes there, but I didn’t, I asked our guide if I should and she said no. I asked a young local Cree girl what she thought. She told me it should be okay, she had walked there and it was okay, her brother walked there though and got chased by bear, but it was okay, because someone saw this and fired some crackle shots and scared the bear away. I decided to let the cranes dance without me.

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  4. Pingback: CREATIVE Blogger Award – Simply Splendid Food

    • Laughing….looks are deceiving. They heads remind me of leopard seals and leopard seals hunting penguins was one of the scariest things I’ve seen. I have photos of polar bears opening their mouth wide. Their mouths are HUGE, just like leopard seals. It almost looks like they could swallow a seal whole.

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  5. Wonderful post and images, Cindy. For a second (millisecond) I thought you were posting for the “Precious Pets” theme this week on Lens-Artists!! How did you get so close to these amazing creatures? 200mm lens or longer?

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  6. Stunning photos and wonderful to see that these guys are still happy and healthy. Just one question though, how on earth did you manage to take these photos? A little close for comfort, no?

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  7. Wow, how did you capture those photos without getting so close? Magic telescopic lens? They look so happy as though there was nothing in the world to worry about. Huh, the life of a bear. 🙂 xx

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    • Oh please do!! And tell me what you’ll do. We have just gotten home. It is lots of flights to get there from SoCal, but I am already kinda thinking, return in early June sometime? The birds are there enmass….laughing. This is what travel does to me. It makes me go back to exceptional places. I know you have the exact same wonderful itch.

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  8. Wondering how close you were to Mama and cub! You certainly know how to get great shots. It’s so awful that these magnificent bears are under so much pressure. They need space and ice and not to be at risk of starving. Am relieved Hudson Bay bears are in good shape even if numbers are down.

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    • I shot them at maximum 1200 zoom. If I was closer, like others are, the photos would be better. I respected our guide because she cared more about the bears than my photos. There are some populations of bears that are actually doing well. In Hudson Bay, prolonged hunting drove the numbers perilously down. Since the hunting has been significantly limited, the bears are rallying.

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  9. This must have been grand, to see them play in real life.

    You are right to notice that the reason the polar bears in Hudson Bay might be doing slightly better than polar bears in Norway and further north, is that they have summer grazing with plants and such, and are not utterly dependent on seals, whilst here at the European continent there is not so much green for them, and often the ice plates are not strong enough any more to bear them or are too far away so that they have to swim to far.

    Thanks for showing us that beautiful world of them,
    Marcus

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    • Yes. You know the facts. They also eat birds in The Hudson Bay. There are many millions of geese here. I have photos of them eating a kill. The population in the bay is doing far better than it was decades ago when so many were shot and the numbers were dramatically down.

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  10. Bonjour Mon AMIE CINDY très joli ces ours blancs
    Comment trouver le bonheur

    Surtout
    Ne le cherche pas le bonheur dans tes souvenirs
    Cela te ferait beaucoup plus de mal
    Tu retrouverais les bons ainsi que les mauvais
    Si tu veux trouver le bonheur
    Cherche le dans le présent
    C’est seulement là qu’ il t’attend et là tu éviteras ceux qui peuvent te faire du mal
    Alors vit ton bonheur dans ce présent
    Belle semaine à toi , tes proches tes amies
    Pour toi une partie de mon bonheur
    Bisous Bernard

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