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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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