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MCN: CH3K8-5YCJP-2G2TH

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Canon 40D with EF70-200 f2.8 IS lens @200mm
1/1000sec f5 ISO 640

43 favorites, 680 views as at April 11th 2012

WINNER of the Wild and Free Challenge in the Awesome Animal Kingdom Group

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3rd Place in the Something Chilly Challenge in The World As We See It , or as we missed it Group

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Editors choice for Animal Photo Of The Week – in the World As We See It, or as we missed it Group – 9th-15th January 2012

A female Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus) walking along the shoreline of the Beaufort Sea and using her keen sense of smell in searching for her next meal. Photographed near 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.

At the present time polar bears are listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources as “Vulnerable”

Tags

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

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Comments

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

    Just dropped in at the Bubble and saw this come across my feed, just what my tired eyes and mind needed. Beautiful work, Martin. Happy New Year to you! G

  • Thank you very much Gina, been busy processing some images today and thought this one would compliment the others I’ve put on RB. Makes you want to be back there doesn’t it!! All the best for 2012 to you and Mark!

    – Martin Smart

  • Bunny Clarke
    Bunny Clarkeover 2 years ago

    This is gorgeous Martin! Splendid capture.

  • Thank you very much Bunny, glad you like it!

    – Martin Smart

  • Larry Trupp
    Larry Truppover 2 years ago

    Awesome capture Martin

  • Thank you very much Larry!

    – Martin Smart

  • Marjorie Wallace
    Marjorie Wallaceover 2 years ago

    Awesome capture.

  • Thank you very much Marjorie!

    – Martin Smart

  • Elaine Bawden
    Elaine Bawdenover 2 years ago
    ♥ EXCELLENT ♥
  • Thank you so much Elaine!

    – Martin Smart

  • Ray Clarke
    Ray Clarkeover 2 years ago

  • Thank you Ray.

    – Martin Smart

  • Trish Threlfall
    Trish Threlfallover 2 years ago

    what a stunner :))

  • Thank you so much Trish!

    – Martin Smart

  • julie08
    julie08over 2 years ago

    Beautiful :)

  • Thank you very much Julie!

    – Martin Smart

  • kathy s gillentine
    kathy s gillen...over 2 years ago

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

    – Martin Smart

  • Themis
    Themisover 2 years ago

    Beautiful shot – I presume you were downwind from her, since you lived to tell the tale :-) (and we’re very happy you did!)

  • Lol, she knew we were there but fortunately we didn’t seem to hold a lot of interest for her as a food source!! Thanks so much for your kind comments!

    – Martin Smart

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