The Polar Bears of Canada and Alaska
Polar Bears tend to congregate in late Fall—typically around October and November—here in beautiful Churchill, Manitoba.
Churchill boasts the highest concentration of Polar Bears in the world. They come in anticipation of the freezing waters of the Southern Hudson Bay. Polar Bears require sea ice from which to hunt seals— their primary source of food.
This where the consequences of climate change are easily measured— Polar Bears only eat when there is sea ice to feed from and with global warming that window of time is slowly closing. The shorter that window, the more precarious their existence.
The remaining images were taken in Kaktovic, Alaska, a 2x6 mile spit of land in the Beaufort Sea, where a small population of the Inuit people live as well. Here a poignant cycle of survival takes place each year. The Inuit are allowed to harvest 3 Bowhead Whales each year. The meat is distributed amongst the villagers. The remains are then taken to a remote area where the bears scavenge off the bones. Polar Bears are not meant to scavenge and this interplay is not sustainable, another grim reminder of the effects of climate change on this small population.
A note of interest as you view these images— Polar Bears are not actually white. You’ll notice that in many of these images where the bears have taken on the sun’s golden glow.