The Polar Bear Throat Hold – Weekly Travel Photo

Wild Polar Bears in Churchill

Playing, fighting or somewhere in between?  That’s the question I found myself pondering repeatedly over the three days I spent on the frozen Canadian tundra just outside of the remote town of Churchill in central Canada.  Over the 72 hours we shared with the polar bears they put on great displays of physical strength while balancing them with awe inspiring shows of laziness and apathy that left me reminded of my cat, Riven. The bears periodically assumed a standing position for battles that tested their strength and allowed them to feel each other out in a mostly friendly atmosphere as they lounged along the partially frozen shores of Hudson Bay waiting….waiting…waiting for the temperature to drop and for the bay to freeze over completely. Once the waters freeze solid suddenly a frozen wonderland of snacks, treats, and fishing holes emerges which the the bears will explore during the winter’s cold, dark months.

Make sure to head over to flickr to see the rest of the album.

Would you like to see previous Weekly Photos? View past travel pictures here. This photo was taken on a Canon T3i (600D) Camera.

Polar Bear Kisses – Weekly Travel Photo

Wild Polar Bears in Churchill

Growing up there were three bears. Brown Bear, which was your typical mid-sized teddy bear. Cinnamon Bear, which was on the small side and then White Bear. Given how original I was in naming the bears, it is perhaps no surprise that White Bear was a massive polar bear teddy.  Though it started out about four times my size, in recent year’s I’ve finally overtaken it.  Which meant it was also time to see a real polar bear in the flesh.  Acting on childhood dreams I tracked down a giant male at the Copenhagen Zoo and visited. Seeing my childhood play companion come to life was wonderful and brought back memories of a massive stuffed teddy bear.  You don’t realize just how huge polar bears are until you see them in person and up close. But, seeing a polar bear in the zoo is like watching the trailer to a movie. It captures the imagination, leaves you with mixed feelings, and sets the hook ensuring you have to see the real deal in its entirety.

So, you can imagine my excitement when just over a year later the Canadian Tourism folks awarded me first place in a photo contest. The grand prize?  A trip to Churchill, Manitoba for a three day polar bear safari with Frontiers North.

Seeing the polar bears in the wild is an awe inspiring experience (see my full posts on the safari). It’s something that everyone should see. Their size, their level of fitness, their curiosity, and their intelligence will captivate your imagination and leave you awed. This photo captures one of many powerful moments as the bears ran into each other, carefully evaluated each other, and then decided to play in the snow, putting on a fantastic show for us. While the bears were just playing, the power and force exerted was enough to crush human bones and occasionally drew  a little blood as spittle flew and their bodies collided.

Make sure to head over to flickr to see the rest of the album.

Would you like to see previous Weekly Photos? View past travel pictures here. This photo was taken on a Canon T3i (600D) Camera.

Polar Bears Touching Noses – Weekly Travel Photo

Wild Polar Bears in Churchill

Not only is this week Polar Bear Week, it’s also getting pretty darn cold here in Denmark. So, for today’s Friday Photo I’ve selected these two polar bears giving each other a playful nose nuzzle mid-fight. Luckily the “fight” was just for fun and to fill a quiet afternoon!  Watching the bears interact and play fight it’s easy to see why native populations believed the bears were people wearing bear suits.  The bear’s elegance and surprising ability to stand, walk and fight upright has a very human feel to it!

This photo was taken in Wapusk National Park just outside of the town of Churchill in Manitoba, Canada.  I snapped it as part of a three day Tundra Buggy Tour with Frontiers North Adventures during which we had the chance to enjoy the polar bears relaxing, playing, eating, and generally wandering around exercising their limitless curiosity.

Would you like to see previous Friday Photos? View past travel pictures here. This photo was taken on a Canon T3i (600D) Camera using a Canon IS 55-250mm lens.