Polar Bear Caught in Act of Infanticide and Cannibalism
I’ve just finished the polar bear season in Churchill, Manitoba. It was a great year, fairly typical except for extremely warm temperatures. Along with the much above average temps, there was an additional event I’ll never forget. About two days into the trip we came upon a large male polar bear that was feeding on a small cub of the year. One of my associates had an obscured view of a group of polar bears behaving in an unusual and erratic manner. From a distance he saw several polar bears running wildly in a circlular motion. He drove the buggy over to the area and found this large male feeding on a very young cub of the year. He didn’t actually see the capture of the cub but surmised that’s what was going on when he witnessed the fast paced, erratic movement of a group of bears and then came upon the male feeding only minutes after the scene unfolded. These are very difficult pictures to look at and I originally hesitated putting them up on the web. So often bears of all kinds are demonized as horrific killers. In this situation this male bear fits that description. However, this is a very unusual and rare event. I decided to publish these images only after very careful research and insight by several world-renowned polar bear scientists that weighed in on the subject. It’s documented that this year in the Churchill region there have been four instances of male polar bears preying on cubs. For the nearly 30 years that Tundra Buggy Adventures has been operating in the Wapusk National Park or the Manitoba Conservation Wildlife Management Area, we have seen three instances of this nature. Typically one every ten years. So it does happen. However, this year there seemed to be a higher than normal number of these killings. There is concern that this may be a direct cause of the bears being stressed for food due to shorter time out on the sea ice where they hunt for seals. Two of the world’s foremost authorities on polar bear behavior have helped create a press release for the group I work with, Polar Bears International. You can download that press release by clicking on Polar Bear Cannibalism Media Release. I urge you to download this PDF to educate yourself about the science behind this event. Do more than most people and read facts from world authorities, not just the sensationalism most people search for and create by making uneducated assumptions of their own choosing. This PDF will give you a scientific and truthful explanation to the event as best as it can be described. I’ve created a small gallery of photos for those interested in seeing nature in all its truthfulness and reality. I must warn you these are not easy images to look at. They are graphic beyond belief but they depict the reality of how climate change may be affecting these magnificent animals and the ecosystem they live in. Follow this link for photos to this event. Male Polar Bear Caught in the Act of Infanticide and Cannibalism. Find out more about Polar Bears and how we can all help save the habitat they live in and save the bears themselves from this dramatic change in the weather in the Arctic.