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AMAZING photos of Manitoba polar bear and cubs

Polar bear cub hitches a ride on mum's back

Daniel Martins
Digital Reporter

Wednesday, January 27, 2016, 1:39 PM - Good photography is hard. Great photography is super hard, and requires major dedication and patience.

Photographer Daisy Gilardini would seem to know that better than most. It took her a 13-day trek through Manitoba's Wapusk National Park on Hudson Bay, not to mention about 117 hours of waiting in front of a polar bear den, to capture the gorgeous shots of a polar bear and her cubs, featured above and below.

Gilardini says the photos, shot in February 2015, were taken at a time when the cubs would have been four months old. 

They and their mother would have ventured forth from the snow den where they were born onto nearby pack ice, where seals were birthing their pups -- a major food source for the young polar bear family.

In this particular case, Gilardini says, the mum and cubs were resting on their way to the ice when encountered by the photographer's group:

She was extremely calm when our vehicle reached the location and we could photograph her and the cubs for a few hours before she suddenly decided it was time to leave. She rushed downhill in deep snow when one of the two cubs decided it was much more convenient to hitch a ride on mama’s butt. Jumped and reached out holding on with a firm bite on the butt’s fur. An extremely funny and totally unexpected behavior.

Gilardini told The Weather Network that photography, for her, means "extreme adventure and environmental commitment." 

Aside from helping her appreciate and focus on the "simple rhythm" of nature, Gilardini says rediscovering a connection with nature can help inspire respect and awareness for how important such ecosystems are:

As environmental photographers it is our duty to capture the beauty of places and species at risk and raise awareness through the universal power of the images we capture. While science provides the data necessary to explain issues and suggest solutions, photography symbolizes these issues. Science is the brain, while photography is the heart and we need to reach people’s heart and emotions in order to move them to action, for Nature and for us.

Gilardini is originally from Switzerland but resides in British Columbia. She has visited more than 70 countries, and undertaken dozens of expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic.

As an accomplished photographer, her work has been widely published, appearing in National Geographic, Smithsonian, BBC Wildlife and others. Check out her website at www.daisygilardini.com. You can also check out her personal Facebook page and her photography Facebook page.

SOURCE: Daisy Gilardini

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