After 3 weeks of missed opportunities and a week with the zoo closed for maintenance work I finally got my first polar bear images for 2018.

These two polar bears were play fighting right up against the window at the zoo restaurant with each in turn throwing the other against the glass with a loud thud. So maybe an inch of glass between me and the polar bears.

To me it was the polar bear weather (-13C, cold wind out of north, and snowing) that brought the polar bears into their element.

CS5 auto contrast

Nikon D7100
AF-S Nikkor 18-140mm
f4 1/1250 27mm

Taken January 27, 2018.

Posted by Jan Bjorklund on Sun, 01/28/18 21:18
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Comments by Jan Bjorklund on Sun, 01/28/18 21:19

Baffin and Willow recently named year old cubs found abandoned along Hudson Bay shore in northern Manitoba. Not sure whether this is Baffin and Willow but very curious bear following my movements from their quarantine area at the Leatherdale International Polar Bear Conservation Centre.

With the addition of the new cubs, the zoo is now home to 11 polar bears.

Seven of those currently reside in the Journey to Churchill exhibit while four, including the new cubs, are in the Leatherdale conservation centre.

All bears at the zoo start there until they are mature enough to make the transition to the main exhibit.

Manitoba's minister in charge of wildlife wants to scale back the number of orphaned polar bear cubs shipped to Winnipeg from Churchill, saying she has heard "loud and clear" from those in the northern town.

Rochelle Squires made those comments after people in Churchill, including Mayor Mike Spence, spoke out after learning that these two cubs were in holding pens, waiting to be flown south to Winnipeg.

"We're disappointed. The community is very strong in saying enough's enough already, too many of our cubs have been going to zoos," Spence said. "We need to do something different here."

"I heard the community very loud and clear and certainly do see the value in leaving these bears in their habitat and seeing if there's a chance for survival and seeing if we can do research with them in their natural habitat as opposed to in the zoo," Squires said further.

"Ultimately, we believe that polar bears belong on the tundra and that these bears are irreplaceable to the community of Churchill, but we also know that the tundra can be a cruel place for orphaned cubs and that these yearlings had a very slim chance of surviving on their own," Squires added.

Baffin and Willow had become conditioned to being fed rather than finding food, so that slim chance of survival on their own had decreased even more.

Alternative suggestions are to have rehabilitation centre near Churchill and trying to return cubs to wild with tracking devices to monitor them and see if they can survive on their own.

Comments by Jan Bjorklund on Sun, 01/28/18 21:21

these harbour seals hold the polar bear's attention when the bears are in the water

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Comments by Jan Bjorklund on Sun, 01/28/18 21:22

and on this past Saturday this polar was diving and re-surfacing in a continual cycle to watch the seals

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curves (set to black point)
Nik silver efex pro2 overexposed ev+1

Comments by G.B. SHETTLER on Mon, 01/29/18 11:04

The Last two are WOnderful !!

Comments by Sandi MacDonald on Wed, 01/31/18 08:38

It must be wonderful to see these creatures close up. Nice shots.;-)

Comments by Jan Bjorklund on Wed, 01/31/18 20:33


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Nik silver efex pro2 full dynamic - harsh

Comments by Jan Bjorklund on Wed, 01/31/18 20:35

harbour seal

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Comments by S Roter on Wed, 01/31/18 22:41

I like the OP, interesting series.

Comments by Jan Bjorklund on Fri, 02/02/18 20:56

out in the cold and just before they started play fighting

Comments by Jan Bjorklund on Fri, 02/02/18 20:57

an incredible animal that has survived where many other creatures that existed in the Arctic have not... the musk ox