Black Tongued Bear by Gina Ruttle  (Whalegeek)

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A black-tongued polar bear eating what’s left of a seal it caught during lean summer months on the Button Islands, located in the Canadian arctic. Until the ice forms again, polar bears are left high and dry on whatever land they end up on after summer break up of pack ice. While they can swim for a hundred miles or more, polar bear will wait on land till the ice returns in the fall. In the meantime they will scavenge whatever they can or take a seal unlucky enough to come near where this polar bear lurked.

Button Islands (south of Baffin Island), Nunavut, Canada.

July 24, 2006.

Canon 10D, Tamron 28-75mm lens, shutter 1/750, f/8.0, focal length 75mm, ISO 200.


animal, bear, canada, gina_ruttle, mammal, nature, polar_bear, ruttle, whalegeek, white

It is my sincere wish that visitors to my portfolio experience the beauty and wonder of nature. Moreover my hope is that my photographs will inspire viewers to be proactive toward the protection of wildlife and its habitat, those efforts ultimately making a far better world for all beings.

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  • CanDuCreations
    CanDuCreationsover 4 years ago

    Awesome shot!

  • Thank you, CanDuCreations! Much appreciated!

    – Gina Ruttle (Whalegeek)

  • (Tallow) Dave  Van de Laar
    (Tallow) Dave ...over 4 years ago

    wowzers!!! amazing shot

  • Thank you, Tallow. I was fortunate to be so close to this bear. Most polar bear on these rocky islands would hightail it out of sight when seeing us, fearing hunters were approaching. Since this hungry bear was on a seal kill at water’s edge, it was not about to leave its food, no matter what came near.

    – Gina Ruttle (Whalegeek)

  • loiteke
    loitekeover 4 years ago


  • Thank you ever so much!

    – Gina Ruttle (Whalegeek)

  • Béla Török
    Béla Törökover 4 years ago

    Brilliant image!

  • Thank you, Bela!

    – Gina Ruttle (Whalegeek)

  • Heather  Waller-Rivet  IPA
    Heather Walle...over 4 years ago


  • Heather, thank you for stopping by!

    – Gina Ruttle (Whalegeek)

  • Chris Snyder
    Chris Snyderover 4 years ago

    Really awesome. What a tongue.

  • Chris, glad you like this big old bruin. Polar bear are so beautiful!

    – Gina Ruttle (Whalegeek)

  • Scott  d'Almeida
    Scott d'Almeidaover 4 years ago

    wonderful capture

  • Thank you, Scott!

    – Gina Ruttle (Whalegeek)

  • Barbara Burkhardt
    Barbara Burkhardtover 4 years ago

    Hmm what had he just eaten .. great timing.

  • Oh, Barbara, the bear was lapping up the very last remnants of a doomed seal. All that was left was the skin plus a rather gruesome ribcage. Most of the polar bears I saw in the Button Islands and nearby Lady Franklin Islands (both south of arctic Canada’s Baffin Island) were skittish and very likely to hightail it over the top of a nearby hill upon seeing humans show up. This particular fellow was not about to let his prized seal remnants alone so he stayed with them for nearly two hours, allowing us to get some up close and personal shots of this bear. Back then I didn’t have a long lens but it didn’t really matter as this fellow was so near to our zodiac, yet still a safe distance away so as not to become the next “seal” meal.

    – Gina Ruttle (Whalegeek)

  • akaurora
    akauroraover 4 years ago

    AWESOME capture!! Take Care ~ Rick & Deb ~ :)

  • Rick and Deb, glad you liked this big bear.

    – Gina Ruttle (Whalegeek)

  • ourjrny
    ourjrnyover 4 years ago

    Beautiful work Gina, it must be so amazing to see these magnificent animals in the wild.

  • Oh, Sharon, your support is a breath of fresh air. Thanks so much for your kind comments. I experience such a sense of awe when in the company of wildlife and can never seem to get enough of being in the wild.

    – Gina Ruttle (Whalegeek)

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