Hilarious and adorable polar bear cubs have been captured in a series of stunning new images playing in the snow with their mothers.
The wildlife photographer Isabel Jauss from Hamburg accompanied several polar bear families for weeks to take pictures with the cuddly creatures and their wild mums.
The cute boys climb over their mothers while they romp around in the snow together, while other boys snuggle up in their mother’s warm fur coat as she lies down to rest.
Isabel captured the incredible pictures in various locations around the Arctic Circle, including Wapusk National Park and Baffin Island in Canada, as well as the Norwegian Svalbard Archipelago, but did not specify where each picture was taken.
She even managed to catch a family of what appeared to be triplets – a rare occurrence since most polar bear litters usually contain one or two cubs.
“The polar bear is one of my favorite animals,” said Isabel.
“When I saw the rare triplets, I couldn’t believe my luck. They just played with their mother.
“I learned where to find a mother and her cubs leaving their caves, so I got myself a warm coat, some sturdy boots, and went up there in the arctic climate.”
A mother bear looks over a snowy ridge and cuddles up to one of her cubs while the others playfully climb over her
A mother bear was pictured taking a snowy nap with her cub sprawled on top of her, nestled in her thick fur
Isabel also managed to catch a family of what appear to be triplets – a rare occurrence since most polar bear litters usually contain one or two cubs. One of the boys can be seen playfully biting his sibling’s ear
The breathtaking pictures were taken by wildlife photographer Isabel Jauss from Hamburg, who traveled around the Arctic Circle in search of the amazing animals
Like other predators at the top of the food chain, polar bears have a low reproductive rate. One or two kittens are born in the middle of winter and stay with their mother for two years.
As a result, females only breed every three years, and the bears do not reproduce until they are five or six years old.
Isabel’s shots of every polar bear family are breathtaking – but her snapshots of polar bear triplets are especially impressive considering how rarely a mother gives birth to three babies at the same time.
Majestic, increasingly hungry and threatened with extinction, the polar bear relies on something that is melting on our warming planet: the sea ice.
In the harsh and unforgiving Arctic, where freezing cold is not just a way of life but a necessity, the polar bear stands out.
But where it lives, where it hunts, where it eats – in summer it disappears under your feet.
“The polar bear is one of my favorite animals,” said Isabel, who hiked through Canada and the Norwegian archipelago of Spitsbergen in search of the breathtaking animals
A mother polar bear wraps one of her cubs in a tight, cozy hug while the other fluffy ball above her belly looks at the camera
Two adorable polar bear cubs copy their mother as the bears look out over their habitat from a snowy peak. The loss of arctic ice in summer due to climate change makes polar bears struggling to find food
“They have always been a human species that goes back hundreds and hundreds of years,” said the government’s longtime polar bear researcher Steve Amstrup, now chief scientist at Polar Bear International.
‘Polar bears just have something special.’
Scientists and advocates point to polar bears, marked “Endangered” on the Endangered Species list, as a glowing red flag for the rest of the planet – “the canary in the cryosphere”.
Twila Moon, a scientist with the National Snow and Ice Data Center, said, “It is almost impossible for us to see a place where we cannot reach an essentially sea-ice-free Arctic, even if we are able to do the work to create them. ” much, much lower emissions of heat-storing gases. ‘
“Sea ice is one of the things that will hit some pretty devastating lows along the way. And we can already see these influences for polar bears. ‘
In the harsh and unforgiving Arctic, where freezing cold is not just a way of life but a necessity, the polar bear is an incredible predator. But the arctic ice that is their home and hunting ground has been disappearing underfoot during the last few summers amid global warming
Freedom! A polar bear mom manages to break free from her babies for just a moment and takes the opportunity to stretch and roll in the snow while one of her cubs watches
Like other predators at the top of the food chain, polar bears have a low reproductive rate. Usually one or two cubs are born in each mother’s litter and stay with her for two years. The bears don’t breed until they’re five or six years old.
WHY DO POLAR BEARS NEED ICE TO SURVIVE?
The loss of ice due to climate change has a direct impact on polar bears’ ability to feed and survive.
The bears need ice platforms to reach their prey made up of ringed and bearded seals. Some sea ice lies over more productive hunting grounds than others.
Arctic sea ice shrinks in summer when it gets warmer, and then forms again in the long winter. How much it shrinks is where global warming starts, scientists say. The more the sea ice shrinks in summer, the thinner the ice overall, because the ice is weaker first year ice.
But the Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world. In some seasons of the year it has warmed up three times faster than the rest of the world, said University of Alaska scientist John Walsh.
In summer, polar bears go out on the ice to hunt and eat, feast and gain weight to carry them through the winter. They prefer areas that are more than halfway covered with ice, as these are the most productive grounds for hunting and foraging.
From late autumn to spring, mothers and new boys dig in drifting snow on land or on pack ice. They emerge from their burrows with the new cubs in the spring to hunt seals from floating sea ice.
Put simply, if there is not enough sea ice, seals cannot stay on the ice and polar bears cannot continue to hunt.
In recent years, the sea ice has retreated so far offshore that the bears have been forced to float on the ice into deep waters – sometimes almost a mile deep – with no prey.