A Valentine’s Day Polar Bear Hug

Polar Bear Hug (Ursus maritimus)

As some of you know, I love bears, of any species, and I love it whenever I have the opportunity to see them up close (in a safe way, of course), observe their behavior and photograph them. They make for great photo subjects.

This image was captured on a trip to the Western shores of Hudson Bay in Manitoba (Canada) where in or around late October/early November large numbers of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) congregate after hibernation waiting for the sea water to freeze so they can venture out on the ice to try and capture one of their favorite preys: seals.

While they hang out by the shore and wait for the temperatures to drop so as to make the magic happen once again, younger polar bears often kill time play-fighting. Witnessing this “boys will be boys” kind of rough game is fascinating, and if you keep your eye in the viewfinder long enough, with some luck you may photograph them while they strike poses that can look awkward, funny, dramatic or… just shweeeet like the one in this image, which two years ago these days was published as a Valentine’s Day poster insert in the Italian magazine Focus Junior.

However, appearances are sometimes deceiving because, in the “play-fight” portrayed in this image, the bear on the right was actually biting the other bear’s ear while holding its victim steady with its strong paws. You might therefore say that this image would be more appropriate to illustrate an ear piercing ritual of sort or that infamous “if you cannot beat them, bite them” Tyson vs Holyfield moment… 😉

Happy Valentine’s Day to those of you who celebrate it!

If you would like to see more images of mine, feel free to browse my Galleries.

As per my copyright notice, please respect my work and do not download, reproduce or use the image above without first seeking my consent. Thank you :-)


10 thoughts on “A Valentine’s Day Polar Bear Hug

    1. Stefano Post author

      Hi Oliver,
      I really loved the trip, despite the frigid temperatures 😉
      Polar bears are amazing, although it is probably the most aggressive species of bears around, so regardless of how fluffy they look, they are to be “handled” with utmost care! 🙂
      Thank you for your comment.

    1. Stefano Post author

      Thank you, Sarah 🙂
      But let me ask you something: do I need to infer from your silence that you did not like the Spirit Bear that I had oh so thoughtfully dedicated to you and Kimberly??? ;-))

  1. Dina ♥

    This is spectacular! Oh yes they look sooo cuddly, but…
    Stefano, you’re truly a brillant photographer. This image was a poster in a magazine, that underlines it.
    Do you still travel a lot to do your photography?
    Have a lovely Sunday!

    1. Stefano Post author

      Dear Dina,
      Thank you so much for your comment: you are too kind! 🙂
      I still travel for photography, but mot as much as I used to and as I would like to, unfortunately. I like traveling in general, but I very much like the North of the world, which is one of the many reasons why I love your blog! 🙂
      Going forward I plan on sharing photographs of my travels, especially those that I am most fond of. I look forward to your reactions.
      Wishing you a wonderful, relaxing Sunday too!

    1. Stefano Post author

      Many thanks for your kind words and for taking the time to comment.
      Also, as I said on your blog, I am even more thankful because that led me to discover your blog which is absolutely awesome! I love both your exquisite photography and the commentaries and am looking forward to following your adventures.
      Take care


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