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Canon 7D with EF500mm f4 IS lens
1/800sec f5.6 ISO 640

A cute pair of Polar Bear cub siblings (Ursus maritimus) playing in the snow on the shores of the Beaufort Sea 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 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, polar bear cubs

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Comments

  • AkaleiKilikina
    AkaleiKilikinaover 2 years ago

    This is greatness! :D

  • Thank you so much Akalei, very kind of you!

    – Martin Smart

  • Sean Jansen
    Sean Jansenover 2 years ago

    So very adorable……..awesome capture.

  • Glad you like it Sean, thanks very much for your kind words!

    – Martin Smart

  • Gina Ruttle  (Whalegeek)
    Gina Ruttle (...over 2 years ago

    The little darlin’s! Adorable fluffy ruffians. What zoo did you take this picture at? Did you toss marshmallows at them to make the bears pose? Or did you toss muktuk at them?? As per usual, excellent work, Martin! :-))

  • Hee hee, it’s amazing what can do lying on the floor of a zodiac after a hearty breakfast at the Waldo Arms Gina!! Thought you’d like this one, such a fantastic morning watching these cute little guys play and not a zoo keeper in sight!! Thanks so much for stopping by!

    – Martin Smart

  • Eivor Kuchta
    Eivor Kuchtaover 2 years ago

    Excellent work!

  • Thank you very much Eivor!

    – Martin Smart

  • Lisa Baumeler
    Lisa Baumelerover 2 years ago

    Fabulous capture Martin! Instant fav for me!!!

  • Thank you so much Lisa, glad you like it!

    – Martin Smart

  • Bunny Clarke
    Bunny Clarkeover 2 years ago

    Beautiful capture and work Martin. Superb detail.

  • Thank you very much for your kind words Bunny!

    – Martin Smart

  • Meg Hart
    Meg Hartover 2 years ago

    Such a captivating capture!!! Well done Martin!!

  • Thank you so much Meg, appreciate your comments!

    – Martin Smart

  • Larry Trupp
    Larry Truppover 2 years ago

    Lovely capture Martin….love it

  • Many thanks Larry, glad you like it!

    – Martin Smart

  • Jodie Williams
    Jodie Williamsover 2 years ago

    Beautifully captured Martin :)

  • Thank you so much Jodie!

    – Martin Smart

  • berndt2
    berndt2over 2 years ago

    beautiful shot!

  • Thank you very much Berndt!

    – Martin Smart

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