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MCN: CVTF2-T47SF-DBVL6

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2nd Place in the Play Mates Challenge in The World As We See it or as we missed it Group

3rd Place in the Co-Existence Challenge in the Elemental: Earth, Wind, Fire and Water Group

Featured in “300+ Go Long” October 2011
Featured in “Closeups in Nature” October 2011
Featured in “America the Beautiful” November 2011
Featured in “The World As We See It, or as we missed it” November2 011
Featured in “Inspired Art” November 2011"
Featured in “Mother Nature’s Finest” November 2011
Featured in “Nature’s Paintbrush” November 2011
Featured in “Canon DSLR” November 2011
Featured in “Bears of the world” February 2012

Editors choice for Animal Photo Of The Week – in the World As We See It, or as we missed it Group – October 31st – November 6th 2011

Canon 7D with EF500 f4 IS lens
1/640sec f5.6 ISO 1250

Almost as if performing for the camera, two Polar Bear cubs (Ursus maritimus) playfully tug at a piece of whale blubber on a beach at Kaktovik, Alaska USA..

The village of Kaktovik is situated on Barter Island, a small island 3 miles by 2 miles just off the arctic coastline from ANWR. The island has a large saltwater lagoon located on the east side which provides sheltered anchorage for village fishing vessels.

The village is inhabited by approximately 250 Native Inupiat “Eskimo” people whose subsistence has been dependent on hunting marine mammals and whales for thousands of years and in a tightly controlled hunt permitted by federal law are allowed a harvest quota of three bowhead whales during the hunting season.

The carcasses of the butchered whales are left on the beaches (as seen in this image) and provide an attractive food source on which polar Bears can scavenge. Pack ice covers this area of the Beaufort Sea surface for 9 months of the year and during this time the bears feed mainly on seals that live under the arctic ice. However in mid summer when the pack ice moves offshore the polar bears are often marooned on shore where food sources are limited. The bears often therefore enter the fall season hungry and have keyed into the valuable food source provided by the carcasses of he butchered whales.

Tags

polar bear, ursus maritimus, ice bear, arctic, arctic circle, carnivore, vulnerable species, kaktovik, barter island, alaska, bear cubs

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Comments

  • KathleenRinker
    KathleenRinkeralmost 3 years ago

    Great capture Martin!!

  • Thank you very much Kathleen!

    – Martin Smart

  • Gina Ruttle  (Whalegeek)
    Gina Ruttle (...almost 3 years ago

    Martin, AWESOME f-stop!!!!! :-)) Sigh…my head is still back there with the bears. Great job. I still think that remnant of bowhead blubber resembles a floor mop. The Northern Lights have been blasting away recently. Wouldn’t you know it?! Cheers, WG

  • Lol, glad you like this “capture” Gina!! The memories came flooding back when I started to edit….trouble is it all went so quickly when we were there its hard to take it all in. An amazing experience though! Hope all is well with you guys.

    – Martin Smart

  • Ray Clarke
    Ray Clarkealmost 3 years ago

  • Thanks Ray.

    – Martin Smart

  • Kent Keller
    Kent Kelleralmost 3 years ago

    Spectacular Martin!!! What a thrill it must have been to be there and on top of that to catch this image!

  • Thanks very much for your kind comments Kent, it certainly was an incredible trip….and I’m still wading through all the images!!

    – Martin Smart

  • Bunny Clarke
    Bunny Clarkealmost 3 years ago

    Great find and capture.

  • Thank you very much Bunny!

    – Martin Smart

  • Greta  McLaughlin
    Greta McLaughlinalmost 3 years ago

  • Thank you Greta.

    – Martin Smart

  • Norah Jones
    Norah Jonesalmost 3 years ago

    Hungry!!! top capture Martin.

  • Thanks very much Norah, I appreciate your comments!

    – Martin Smart

  • Rob Lavoie
    Rob Lavoiealmost 3 years ago

    Excellent shot

  • Thanks very much Rob!

    – Martin Smart

  • Ken McElroy
    Ken McElroyalmost 3 years ago

  • Many thanks for the feature Ken, very much appreciated!

    – Martin Smart

  • Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos
    Konstantinos A...almost 3 years ago

    Great capture, well done my friend!

  • Thanks very much for your kind comments Kon!

    – Martin Smart

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