arts & culture

Photography: Polars Bears by Michael Poliza, Churchill, Manitoba

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01--Photography by Michael Poliza

Stumbled across these stunning photographs by Michael Poliza, taken in Churchill, Manitoba, of a polar bear amongst the fireweed waiting for the Hudson Bay to freeze over. In the words of the photographer, “The polar bear was all by himself as they are very solitary animals anyway, but this one looked particularly sad as it wandered around, almost as though it didn’t understand where the snow had gone.” Churchill is said to have the largest and most southerly concentration of polar bears on earth. In late summer and early fall, the bears make their way to Hudson Bay to hunt for seals on the ice. Each year, however, the ice is forming later and later, forcing the animals to go hungry for longer. Andrew Derocher, Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Albert, has spent decades studying polar bears and states, “We probably won’t have polar bears in Churchill once we get out to midcentury — they could be gone in a couple of years. If we had a very early melt, and a very late freeze, we could see up to 50 percent mortality in a single year.”

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