Beached bears, Howie Garber, USA, 2003

Howie Garber Images/Unforgettable Behavior
October 28, 2021
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Polar bears surrounded by seagulls while standing at edge of water
Howie Garber Images/Unforgettable Behavior

Beached bears
Howie Garber, USA

Polar bears are usually solitary, but this gray whale corpse on the coast of the Chukchi Sea, northern Alaska, hosted an unusual aggregation—adult males, at least one female, subadults, yearlings and cubs. Another 30 or so bears waited their turn. These and many other bears were stranded far from the ice and their main prey of seals, as the sea ice had retreated a record distance from the coast. This scene shows the negative impact of global warming. Although carrion can prevent starvation in times of no ice, these huge bears still need their specialized diet of fat-rich seals for at least half the year.

Technical specification: Nikon F5 + 500mm Nikkor f4 lens; 1/500 sec at f5.6; FUJICHROME Provia 100; Gitzo tripod

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