Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) have time to kill, waiting for the grip of winter to return and once again freeze the sea at Cape Churchill, Wapusk National Park, Manitoba Canada.
They’ve been fasting since the spring and summer melted the sea ice which they need to hunt seals. But though they haven’t eaten in months, the bears are remarkably well tempered and the males take this time to hang out together and do what guys do… roughhouse and tell jokes.
OK, they don’t really tell jokes. At least not ones that human onlookers get. After all, it’s serious business for them. They need to sort out dominance hierarchies so they know where they stand should they meet each other again, out on the ice, as winter competitors.
And these days, with rising global temperatures, they have challenges to meet bigger than other adult bears. In 2010, four weeks less ice brought battles with serious food stress. Churchill now has a new rescue center for cubs who are being abandon by mothers who don’t have enough food reserves to produce milk for young cubs.
50% of my profits from sales of all Cape Churchill images will be donated to Polar Bears International.
Canon EOS Digital Rebel (the original!)
Canon EF75-300mm f/4.0-5.6 IS USM lens
Top Ten Challenge Winner in:
Caption Fun So happy together May 2011