Paul Goldstein, an award-winning wildlife photographer and guide, spent eight days in the Canadian province of Nunavut, where he had a close encounter with a mother polar bear and her pups. Goldstein set out to investigate after riding a snowmobile to a remote section of Baffin Island famed for its year-round polar bear population. He came upon a stunning site thanks to the assistance of native Innuit trackers.
Goldstein had the pleasure of witnessing a mother polar bear and her kids as they went about their day for nearly four hours. The mom bear always kept a tight eye on her offspring, whether they were out exploring or nestled together in the snow. It was a magnificent event for Goldstein, who had no assurance of seeing any polar bears, despite the fact that he was accompanied by his entire family.
Goldstein is well aware of his good fortune in obtaining these images. Even after 25 years in the business, capturing such precious moments is still a delight for him. He believes that by viewing these photographs, people will realize how delicate these ecosystems are and how critical it is to conserve them. “It would be promising if the identical image could be captured in 50 or 100 years,” Goldstein says.
According to a 2020 article, the polar bear population on Baffin Island is constant at roughly 2,800. When sea ice isn’t accessible, polar bears spend time on land, but as soon as the seas freeze over, they’re on the hunt for their major food source—seals.
Polar bears, interestingly, generally give birth to twins. This increases the chances of at least one cub reaching maturity. Given their upbringing in the harsh Arctic climate, this transformation is reasonable. Polar bear cubs often remain with their mother for two and a half to three years. During this time, she will teach them all of the survival skills they will require to flourish. This includes activities like as hunting, swimming, and feeding. But, as Goldstein’s images demonstrate, there’s still time for cuddling.
While on a remote section of Baffin Island, photographer Paul Goldstein stumbled found a family of polar bears.
There was plenty of time for snuggles in between hunting and feeding.