Polar Bear and cubs cross the ice – Churchill, Canada 2021

Polar Bear and cubs cross the ice. 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. So it was a delight to see this mother and her two cubs making their way across a frozen lake out on the tundra. They walked past us and headed to the shore line. She was very alert to the danger presented by 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.