Polar bear investigating camera, Churchill, Manitoba, Canada
© Matthias Breiter/Minden Picture
Nosing in on a polar bear pair. Polar bear
Welcome to Churchill, a town in the Canadian province of Manitoba. The population here is 899, if you don't count the bears. This cold outpost becomes a polar bear hotspot in late autumn as ice floes begin to form on Hudson Bay, the world’s second-largest bay covering 470,000 square miles. Because the bay melts completely during the summer, the bears have to spend three or four months on land surviving on fat reserves they built up over the previous winter. But usually by early November, as many as a thousand will congregate near the shore, waiting to step out onto the newly formed ice to start hunting seals again.
The bear which is front-and-centre in today's image uncovered something else on its hunt: A motion-activated 'camera trap'. That's probably the safest way to get a close-up mug shot of this giant lord of the Arctic.