Having Tea with Polar Bears – Part 4

I saved the pictures with the cubs for last, not because the cubs are oh so cute, you just want to hug them, but because they are oh so cute – you want to hug them. 

BTW: Our guide forbid us hugging the Polar Bear cubs. 

Yes, the cubs cute, but these pictures also make me sad. Half or more of the cubs pictured won’t grow into adulthood. They will die of starvation.

While we saw a few females on previous days, on our last day, I lost count of the number of moms and cubs we saw. The family pictured above is the same family in all these pictures. Our driver spotted them first and pulled to a stop. It wasn’t long before a line of rovers was parked in front of us. The family – mom and two-year-old twins, were curled up sleeping in the middle of a frozen bed.

One of the cubs looked up to see what we were, but he/she remained cuddled with mom, who ignored us. And then:

Nice day for a walk

While the people around me took pictures of mom and her two cubs, our guide jumped up and down until we all looked at her. (We kept as quiet as possible to not frighten the bears.) Our guide pointed to a tiny dot moving in our direction. From binoculars and telephoto lenses, we watched another mom with a one-year-old cub strolling our way.

Polar Bears are incredibly curious.

Once mom got a whiff of company coming, she stood to see what she could see. The cubs followed her cue. The one behind mom rose for a better look. Polar Bears have terrible vision. By now, I didn’t need binoculars to see the visitors. Neither did this family.

Once close enough, our guide informed us this mama had a one-year-old cub. In this picture, you can see how small the cub is. If you compare the twin cubs next to their mom, I think you can see the difference. The two-year-olds are almost as big as mom.
Mamma bear remained between her cubs and the new arrivals as they moved away from the path of the oncomers. The cubs, being youngsters, kept looking at the newcomers, but obeyed mom at all times.

Polar Bears are solitary by nature and will avoid people as much as possible, but that doesn’t mean they’re not curious. This mamma bears is so in command of herself and her cub, she takes her time to walk past us, but first stops to sniff to see what we are.
In the meantime, mamma and her twins wait for the other family to move on. The cubs observe us while mom watches them and the other family. Unlike us, Polar Bears respect others and avoid fighting over space. They move around too much to be territorial.
What are those things making strange clicking noises?

On their way back to their comfy spot, the cubs mind mom and stay close, but just like our own kids, they can’t keep their eyes off the rovers filled with people taking pictures.

They keep walking and walking and walking.

Other than the quick sniff, mom and cub kept moving. This is the final picture of them. A few more feet, and mom turned them into the willow, probably to nap for a while.

With the other bears gone, mamma and the twins return to just the right spot. Of course, they sniff all around to learn what they can of the other bears. As Mamma settles in, I couldn’t help but think of Goldilocks.

Back to the right spot.


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2 thoughts on “Having Tea with Polar Bears – Part 4”

  1. Beautiful photos (in all 4 posts), L.K. What a wonderful experience to see so many beautiful animals, yet my heart just ached after reading about the survival rates of the polar bears. On a happier note, a coven of ptarmigan would be amazing. 🙂

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