Vince Burton Photography

Ever since I can remember, I have adored wildlife and nature. One animal in particular stood out, the majestic polar bear. Having parents that had never left the UK, it seemed like a distant fantasy I would ever be able to see one of these magnificent creatures in its homelands, but that didn't stop me dreaming.

Several years later, after many photography expeditions, I finally focused my attention to achieving a childhood dream, to see polar bears in the wild. Part of the reason for delaying no longer, is due to the effects climate change is having on many animals, but none more so than the polar bears. With ice melting earlier, polar bears struggle to hunt for their main food source, seals on the pack ice. This is a vital food source for many polar bears, but particularly for mothers coming out of hibernation with suckling cubs.

My travels took me to Wapusk National Park in Manitoba, not far from Churchill in Canada. Wapusk is the Cree word for 'Great Bear', and is also known as the polar bear denning capital of the world. In early spring, mothers lead their cubs from the den into the wilderness for the very first time. These cubs may be as young as 10 - 12 weeks old. Progress may be slow as the cubs are weak and tire easily. Regular rests are required by the cubs, however the mother will be in a rush as she has not eaten for months.
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