Un-bear-ably cute: Photographer spends ten years capturing the moment baby polar bears emerge from their dens for the very first time
These adorable images of new born polar bears are bound to warm the hearts of even the biggest Ba-humbugs this Christmas.
The stunning collection of photographs, taken over the space of ten years, manage to capture the tender bond between both mother and child as they emerge from their den for the very first time.
But this photo opportunity isn’t just available to anyone, photographer David Jenkins, 42, had to first apply for a special permit to enter the denning area in Wapusk National Park, Canada, an opportunity only given to the most accomplished of wildlife photographers.
Whether they are hitching a ride on mum’s back, playing in the snow, or coming in close for a cuddle, Irish photographer David, managed to show a softer side to the huge polar predators.
But if the experience wasn’t special enough, David even managed to capture such magical moments as seeing a mother with three surviving cubs, a sight rarely scene in the wild, as well as a mother and cub snuggling in front of a gorgeous winter sunset.
Although David has managed to acquire an impressive set of images, managing to snap the animals out in the wild dIdn’t come easy.
In fact, David had to spend eight to nine hours per day in temperatures below -57c sometimes without even getting a glimpse of the elusive animals.
David said: “There are a few places that you can go to see wild polar bears but very few people are lucky enough to get access to a denning area and then photograph the bears on foot outside of vehicles.
“Even when the light isn’t right, you have to just step away from the camera and watch.
“The cubs are incredibly cute are hilarious to watch, seeing them playing never fail to melt your heart.
“There have been so many incredible moments over the years, I think my highlight moment was when I filmed and photographed a mother and cub against the sunset.
“The video footage is stunning, seeing the pair against such an incredible red sky is something I will never forget.
“However, you have to be careful, the polar bear is largest predator on land and you have to be respectful to the animal and give it space.
“The worst conditions have probably been temperatures of minus 57c, the denning area is very flat with not many trees for protection so wind chill becomes a huge problem.
“If you want to photograph the baby bears then you usually have to do it looking straight into the wind as the mother bear lies with her back facing the wind, sheltering her cub.
“They are incredibly affectionate with their cubs and extremely tolerant, it is amazing to see how patient they can be when junior is munching on mum’s ear or biting her head, even when she puts a stop to their rowdy behavior she is still extremely gentle with her cubs.”