Polar bear investigating camera, Churchill, Manitoba
© Matthias Breiter/Minden Picture
Nosing in on a polar bear pair. Polar bear
Welcome to Churchill, Manitoba, population 899. If you don't count the bears, or the many human visitors who come around this time each year to glimpse the world's largest land carnivore.
This cold outpost becomes a polar bear hotspot in late fall as ice floes begin to form on the frigid Hudson Bay. 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 polar bears congregate near the shore, waiting to step out onto the newly formed ice to start hunting seals again.
The bear who's 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.'