Polar Bear Cubs: Born to Live
Shot at Wat'chee Lodge, 40 miles South of Hudson Bay, Churchill, Canada in March 2011 with the Canon 1D Mark IV, 800mm f/4 and 1.4x TC II
This gallery begins with a mom resting with her single cub in minus 50F degrees temps. They were on their way to Hudson Bay so that Mom can hunt for food. Even though Mom hadn't eaten in 6 - 8 months, the weather was too harsh for the cub to travel. The cub was very healthy because it didn't have to share Mom's rich milk with other siblings; and, it was the chubbiest cub that I've ever seen.
Next up are adorable twins. The weather was 10 degrees warmer, so they were out and about playing in their new surroundings.
Lastly, this gallery features a very precious set of triplets. Unlike previous years, one baby was unusually very tiny. We worried whether the tiny cub would be able to keep up with the family when it was time to continue the journey to the Bay, another 40 miles. After a long day of rest, Mom decided that it was time to go. At first, the tiny cub didn't get up and we were quite concerned. But the cub finally got up and struggled to the top of the slippery snow bank. After reaching the top, the cub appeared to smile as the setting sun cheered him on with warm energy.
The family then stopped at the top of a hill for a meal break. The sun went down and that was the last that we saw of them. The next day, we heard from researchers that the family had trekked 5 miles during the night which was amazing to hear. Hooray for the little cub and we prayed for more daily miracles.
Note: these are the cubs featured in the ABC special - Newborn Polar Bears: A Rare Glimpse - because Neal Karlinsky and his team were filming with us at the same time.
All images © Christina J. Prestegard 2004 - 2024. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.