When we left our mother & cub the day before, they were a picture of contentment. Full bellies & counting seals (or whatever Polar bears dream of...). After such an incredible encounter with such a relaxed couple of bears, we just had to try to catch up with them again.
When we did eventually find them the next day, they were on a mission. According to some other guides, the mother had been setting a relentless pace for the last four hours and the cub was dead on its paws, having to trudge through quite deep snow. They eventually slowed their pace and we spotted them at some distance away. Adam, our guide, first found the cub sat very, very close to a Ringed seal, hauled out on the ice, next to its breathing hole. Out of nowhere, the mother burst out of the nearby water, nearly catching the seal off guard - could she have been using the cub as a distraction, knowing the seal wouldn’t see it as a threat? Either way, it was behaviour Adam had never seen before and that’s saying something!
After having no success that time, they began navigating the coastal ice flows, before continuing to follow the deeper snow along the shoreline. When I managed to capture this image, the cub was really tired out but there was slowing mother down. As with all large predators, hunting success rates are low - a Polar bears being suggested at round 10%. The next meal and survival is, of course, always never far from the forefront of their minds. - 2 hours ago