Photographer Describes a 5-Day Wait in -50°C to Capture Polar Bears

Photographer from British Columbia Daisy Gilardini described the difficult conditions of shooting polar bears in the north of Canada last year.

Every year Gilardini goes to Wapusk National Park in Manitoba (Canada) to snap polar bear mothers, who exit their maternity dens for the first time. They hide in the dens in October, give birth to their cubs in November, and in February or March, when the cubs are about four months old, they go out to hunt seals on the Hudson Bay.

Gilardini says that you have to be patient to capture polar bears going out of their dens. Last year she spent 13 days in the field and waited 117 hours (almost 5 days) in -45–50°C, with the 60–70 km/h wind. When the animals appeared, the photographer worked almost 12 hours straight.

One time her group found a polar bear mother and two cubs who had just exited the den. The mother seemed calm, so Gilardini approached them and worked for several hours. When the mother bear wanted to leave, one of the cubs tried to ride on her back and held on to her fur. “Extremely funny and totally unexpected behavior”, — the photographer says.

Photo: Daisy Gilardini Photography / Facebook


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