When polar bear mothers and cubs emerge from their dens in the early spring, the cubs stay close to their mothers for warmth and protection. Once the cubs are strong and confident enough, they make the trek to the sea ice with their mother so that she can resume hunting for seals. Debra waited six days near the den of this family, in Wapusk National Park, Manitoba, Canada, before they finally emerged. In the most challenging conditions she has ever faced, temperatures ranged from -35˚C (-31˚F) to -55˚C (-67˚F) with high winds, making it almost impossible to avoid frostbite and keep her camera gear functioning properly.
Nikon D4 + 800mm f5.6 lens; 1/2500 sec at f5.6; ISO 2000.
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