First photo by @mpoliza (Michael Poliza), photos 2-6 by Norbert Rosing // #sponsored by @travelmanitoba // A hungry polar bear needs to wait for the ice to return to the Hudson Bay in November before it can resume hunting its seal prey. When this picture was taken at the end of July, this polar bear still had over 3 months to go before the seal hunting season would begin again. Point Hubbard, near Churchill in Manitoba, blooms with the fireweed flower for only one week providing a colorful setting for this polar bear image. I’ve been obsessed with this part of the world ever since I first saw a picture of a polar bear in a field of purple flowers. I had to experience this phenomenon for myself of the fireweed lighting up the Arctic tundra.
As picturesque as polar bears among fireweed may look, they can lose 50% of their body weight during their fast from June to November. In response to a longer period of food shortage, polar bear body weights have decreased by nearly 25% over the last 35 years in a well-studied population along the Hudson Bay. As there are only about 25,000 polar bears (Ursus maritimus) left in the wild, their future looks more uncertain than ever. The southernmost populations along the Hudson Bay are the most affected by climate change. Will they be able to adapt? Explore Churchill, Manitoba—the polar bear capital of the world. Take a northern safari as you come face to face with the lords of the arctic, marvel at waters teeming with thousands of beluga whales, and witness the northern lights dancing in the night sky. #exploreMB