International Polar Bear Day in Photos

Lorna Griggs

27 Feb 2018

Polar Team Leader Lorna picks her favourite shots

February 27th is International Polar Bear Day! While most days here in the NWS office are polar bear days for our expert Polar Team, we decided to make even more of an effort to celebrate these incredible creatures in honour of their special day!

Some of us here at NWS are lucky enough to have travelled to the Arctic in search of the bears alongside some of our specialist leaders, photographers, and adventurous clients. We have seen first-hand the need to protect the bears and their habitat, as the ice melts and retreats year on year. International Polar Bear Day is a reminder that we could all do more to reverse the negative effects of climate change.

To celebrate the majestic rulers of the Arctic, here are some of our favourite photos from our Svalbard Polar Bear Explorer trips over the last four years.

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78 Degrees North - David Yarrow, June 2017

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“Polar bears are certainly big and dangerous. But they are more than that – they sit at the top of the food chain at the top of the world. Inevitably, imagery of polar bears is often used to endorse and emphasise the cold, but great photographs of this alpha mammal should also surely convey majesty and sovereignty. Of all the predators on our planet, it is the polar bear that I find most regal.”

- David Yarrow, NWS Specialist Leader

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Polar Bear Portrait - Shannon Wild, July 2016

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“I was watching the bear so closely that I didn’t notice straight away that Shannon was no longer standing beside me. When I turned around, she was laying on the deck of the ship, wriggling closer to the small drainage hole in the side of the ship’s steel hull. With her camera lens focused on the bear, she waited. Lying on freezing steel was worth it for this shot, one of my favourites of all time.”  

– NWS Lorna, Polar Team Leader

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Cubs and the Malmo - Kate Waite, June 2017

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“Silence descended on the Malmo as both she and her two cubs approached the ship, coming right alongside us. The cubs stood on their hind legs to get a better view of the curious human creatures pointing cameras at them, before getting distracted by play, bounding along the edge of the frozen ice and ultimately falling in. Lowering my camera, I just sat and watched.”

– NWS Kate, Digital Marketing Manager

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Polar Bear Selfie - Alex Kostich, July 2016

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“At one point, the bear approached the bow of the Freya, where I had positioned myself overlooking the action below. He stood on a mound of ice and looked directly up at me - and at that moment I decided to do the unthinkable. I held up my iPhone, reversed the view… and took a selfie.”

– Alex Kostich, NWS client

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Polar Bear Sunset - Arabella Worthington, July 2016

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“We all gawped in silence as this bear sniffed around and then eventually retreated. With a total of eight bear sightings today we decided that the pack ice had done us well and we left our bears in peace.”

– NWS Arabella, Sales Manager

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That Polar Bear Roll - Shannon Wild, July 2017

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“What a treat to witness this polar bear as he played and leaped and rolled around. He was quite the entertainer!”

Shannon Wild, NWS Specialist Leader

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Mother and Cubs - Daisy Pether, August 2017

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“I had an amazing time in Svalbard and had so many incredible encounters. We were really lucky. My highlight was the mother polar bear and two cubs - I felt so privileged to have seem them.”

– Daisy Pether, NWS client

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