Polar bears and their cubs are captured at their most relaxed

Time to paws for thought: Polar bears and their cubs are captured at their most relaxed as they cuddle, chill and nap in Canada’s spectacular fireweed fields in incredible images that took 33 days to capture

  • Professional photographer and cinematographer Martin Gregus, 26, captured the photographs in Canada 
  • He took images of the polar bears at their most relaxed- cuddling, chilling and napping in fireweed fields
  • The pictures took 33 days to take and were taken over the Summer but have emerged online again recently
  • Mr Gregus had no problems with the polar bears and said that they ‘chose to be gentle’ with him for the trip

Beautiful images have captured polar bears and their cubs at their most relaxed as they cuddled, chilled and napped in Canada’s spectacular fireweed fields in photographs that took 33 days to take. 

Photographer and cinematographer Martin Gregus, 26, took photos of the polar bears close to Churchill, Manitoba over the summer which have reemerged online. 

In one picture, a mother and cub are seen in a purple field of flowers, cuddled up together and in another shot, a polar bear sleeps on a rock, curled up. Other images show polar bears basking in the sun and relaxing in the field and feeding.

Mr Gregus said: ‘It was beautiful, it was a tough trip. It took 33 days to get these images. They are dangerous but they let you be there and choose to be gentle, opening their life a little bit in your presence and that is amazing. Especially when the mothers nurse their cubs. 

‘A big love of my life has been photography and nature. I love to tell stories through my images. It comes with a responsibility that you have to tell these stories in a fair way to the animal. It is challenging.’

The 26-year-old had no issues with the bears, explaining that he actually had a near-death experience on his boat when he became trapped in a treacherous storm in the arctic for five days, fighting for his life alongside the crew.  

He said: ‘We went a few days earlier, trying to build the relationship with the bears. It was five days of the worst storm I have ever seen, the waves were treacherous. 

‘We were fighting for our lives for five days. In the moment we didn’t know how bad it was. We were just trying to survive. 

‘I texted my dad and he would have known that may have been the last message I ever sent him. People see the bears and sunny weather but there were moments that were incredibly tough and changed me.

‘It is unpredictable but we were never in danger with the bears. We had bear guards for protection. I find these images a little overwhelming and incredibly moving. I owe my career to the polar bears.’

The huge animals can weigh up to 1,500 pounds and measure in excess of seven feet long and the animals are not actually white- they have black skin with white fur.

It’s a tough life! A baby polar bear took the chill-out time to the extreme, choosing to lie back on a rock as they basked in the sunshine. The animals can weigh up to 1,500 pounds when they grow

Feeding: Another up close and personal image taken over the Summer by Martin Gregus showed a loving polar bear mother feeding her two babies in Canada. Polar bears can be up to seven feet long 

Mum and baby! In a purple field of flowers, a mother and baby enjoy relaxing together near Churchill, Manitoba. Polar bears are not actually white, they have black skin with white fur 

Sunny day! Other polar bears lie on a rock and relax during the summer. In Canada, the animals inhabit ice-covered regions from the Yukon and the Beaufort Sea in the west, to Newfoundland and Labrador in the east. They also range from Northern Ellesmere Island south to James Bay

Sleepy time! Amid a beautiful sunset, it seems that it is time for another polar bear to have a snooze near Churchill, Manitoba in Canada. Two-thirds of the global population of polar bears are found in Canada. The world’s southernmost population of polar bears occurs along the coast of James Bay in Ontario

Tiring work! Another polar bear takes a nap in the purple field of flowers in Churchill, near Manitoba, Canada. These bears typically occupy the coastal regions of the Arctic Ocean and the channels between its many islands and archipelagos

Argument! It was not all love and harmony, with two polar bears caught on camera having a tiff by Mr Gregus. The habitat of polar bears changes according to the season. For example, in places where sea ice melts in mid- or late summer, all polar bears move to the shore for two to four months

Can you see me? A lone head pops out of the purple fireweed as the polar bear makes the most of relaxing during the Summer. During this time, they rely on fat stores for survival. Once autumn arrives, they go back to the sea ice. Polar bears depend heavily on sea ice, using it for hunting, travelling and mating

In Canada, they inhabit ice-covered regions from the Yukon and the Beaufort Sea in the west, to Newfoundland and Labrador in the east. They also range from Northern Ellesmere Island south to James Bay.

Two-thirds of the global population of polar bears are found in Canada. The world’s southernmost population of polar bears occurs along the coast of James Bay in Ontario.

 These bears typically occupy the coastal regions of the Arctic Ocean and the channels between its many islands and archipelagos. 

Their habitat changes according to the season. For example, in places where sea ice melts in mid- or late summer, all polar bears move to the shore for two to four months. 

During this time, they rely on fat stores for survival. Once autumn arrives, they go back to the sea ice. Polar bears depend heavily on sea ice, using it for hunting, travelling and mating.

With approximately 20.000-25.000 polar bears left worldwide, this bear is on the World Conservation Union’s red list as a vulnerable species.

The polar bear is the most carnivorous member of the bear family. It requires large amounts of fat from marine mammals such as seals. The polar bear is a marine mammal spending most of his life at sea.

With the exception of pregnant females, polar bears in Canada are active year-round. Unlike grizzly bears, polar bears are not territorial. Like grizzlies and black bears, adult polar bears live solitary lives.

The polar bear is native within the Arctic Circle encompassing the Arctic Ocean, its surrounding landmasses and seas as far south as James Bay and Newfoundland Island in Canada.

The Canadian polar bear inhabits 7 out of 13 provinces and territories: the Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, northern Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec as well as Newfoundland and Labrador.

The most southern Canadian polar bear range is James Bay (southern Hudson Bay) and contiguous shoreline.

The polar bear‘s diet mostly consists of fat and meat from marine mammals such as from ringed and bearded seals. Seals need holes in the ice in order to breathe. The bears wait on the ice for the prey to come to the surface of these breathing holes.

Polar bears are capable of fasting and living of fat reserves for up to several months. This usually happens during late summer and early fall when the sea is unfrozen and they cannot hunt for seals.

Only a very small part of the polar bear’s diet consists of other wild foods, including reindeer, birds, eggs, rodents, shellfish, crabs, moskox, and other polar bears. Occasionally they eat small amounts of plants, including berries, roots, and kelp.

Sources: Nature Conservancy Canada  and Tourguide Canada 

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