Polar Bear and cubs at the shore – Churchill, Canada 2021

Polar Bear and cubs at the shore. We had seen this Polar bear and her two cubs a few days earlier as they had crossed the icy tundra near Churchill, Canada. She had been heading for the shoreline when we lost track of them. Now we found then on a rocky outcrop at the shore. They made a delightful grouping with Hudson Bay in the background. After a while they set off, we think because there was a large male Polar Bear further along the shoreline and she wanted to keep her cubs safe. The snow began to fall as this Polar Bear and her cubs made their way along the shoreline.

Out on the tundra close to the shore of Hudson Bay, Churchill, male Polar Bears are seen frequently. The females with cubs are often found deeper in land to keep their cubs safe from the males. Polar Bears congregate on the tundra close to Hudson’s Bay, Churchill, because this is the place they know where the bay will freeze over first and they will be able to hunt seals and have their first substantial meal in months. The bay freezes first at this location because the fresh water from the Churchill river enters the bay, reduces its salinity and hence it freezes over earlier than the rest of the bay. It’s a waiting game. It was cold when we were there but not cold enough to freeze the sea. Within a week or so of this being filmed, the temperatures plummeted and the bay began to freeze over. The Polar Bears will soon have gone from around Churchill in search of seals which will haul out on the new ice.