The Wapusk National Park is nothing but fascinating. The remote area from the northeastern edge of Manitoba is impressing with its dramatic landscapes and a variety of species that found their homes in this unfriendly and severe environment.
Nevertheless, the place is just as hostile as captivating, especially in February and March. From mid-February to mid-March, specifically. It is when the massive polar bear females found their ways out of the dens. But their are not alone, but with their so-lovely less than four-month-old cubs.
For wildlife photographers to capture these moments on camera is a dream came true, but to witness these scenes you need to face so really tough weather conditions. The toughest I would say. But for this passionate photographer capturing a glimpse of a mother polar bear and her cubs worth the sacrifice.
Daisy Gilardini – Nikon Ambassador, not only traveled a very long way to this frozen place, but she also had to wait more than 117 hours in extreme cold to get some snaps with a momma polar bear and her newborn babies. In the end, it worth all the effort she said. But it was far from easy, though!
“It is extremely difficult and rare to witness the exit of the bears from the dens and one has to face extremely challenging conditions,” Gilardini said. “In these temperatures it is difficult to operate the camera because you need big gloves to prevent your hands from freezing and the cold drains the batteries very fast.”
But after waiting so many hours in below zero temperatures(around 122°F), her efforts were finally rewarded and she got what she wanted. In the next 10-12 hours, Gilardini had no less than five different polar bear family sightings.
“In the field the most memorable episode is when we encounter this mama bear resting with her two young cubs in a day den on the way to the pack ice,” the photographer shared her experience. “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.”
The British Colombia photographer(originally from Switzerland) hopes that her work will raise awareness among people about the impact we have on our planet.
“If humankind wants to survive and evolve with our planet we have to act responsibly,” she said. “We need to know that Nature is not depended by us but we are dependent by Nature. “Science is the brain and the 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.”
More about this journey in the video below!