Sparring Polar Bears on a frozen lake – Churchill, Canada 2022

Sparring Polar Bears on a frozen lake. The snow was being blown horizontally across the tundra just outside Churchill, Manitoba, Canada when we came across these two male Polar Bears sparring on a frozen lake. The cur ed lines of snow across the frozen lake made for a beautiful setting for this sparring. As the bears entered areas of deeper snow they kicked up the snow which was instantly blown away by the fierce wind. Filming was a challenge because of snow blowing onto the lens so it was important to be at the right angle. It was also very cold! Sparring Polar Bears on a frozen lake certainly makes for entertaining viewing. I particularly enjoyed the way they often end up sliding backwards on all fours on the frozen surface.
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. This is one of the rare times that the normally solitary male Polar Bear meets up with other bears. We came across these two male bears as they were sparring. This play fighting is thought to contribute to establishing hierarchies, practice for hunting and helps them stay strong and alert.