A mother Polar Bear leads the way through the brush on the tundra landscape in the Churchill Wildlife Management Area in Churchill, Manitoba as her cute cub follows behind. The mother keeps a close watch on any strange movements or noises and will protect her family if anything becomes a threat to her cub.
The circle of life starts for a cub after the female Polar Bear has met her match and mating has taken place. The mother Polar Bear then begins to eat trying to gain a total of about 440 pounds to ensure that she is healthy enough to carry out the term of her pregnancy. During this time, the mother will find the ideal place to make her den which will protect her cub or cubs from any extreme winter conditions which may pass through the area.
A mother Polar Bear carries her cubs for approximately eight months, this includes the time in which the egg is in its delayed implantation period which ensures that the baby is born during a time of year when survival is best. The estimated time in which the cub grows inside its mother is approximately four months.
Once the cub is born, usually between November through to January, the cub will nurse for a majority of the time and will stay close to its mother to stay warm. Around March or April, the mother will move her family outside into the wilderness, but the cub will continue to nurse until it is around thirty months old with less feedings as it matures.
Soon the mother will lead her family to the sea where the ice has frozen along the Hudson Bay in Churchill, Manitoba and the mother will teach her cub how to hunt. If there is too much snow or ice along the way to the Hudson Bay in Churchill, Manitoba, the mother will transport her cub on her back.
Around three months of age, the Polar Bear cub will begin to eat solid food after the mother makes the kill but the cub is not very successful at catching her own meal until after the age of one. This is an art which needs some practice but after the first few times, the cub has mastered the technique.
Until the Polar Bear cub has grown and is ready to venture out on its own, the mother will protect her family, this a force which should not be reckoned with. Seeing a mother and her cub in the wilderness while bear watching in Churchill, Manitoba is a part of your life you will never regret doing.
Polar Bear, Ursus maritimus, sow and cub in the Churchill Wildlife Management Area, Hudson Bay, Churchill, Manitoba, Canada.
I photographed this photo with the digital SLR camera model Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II, aperture of f/6.3, exposure time of 1/640 sec. on ISO 400, as always I used a original Canon Lens, the focus lenght for this picture was 120mm.
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