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Newborn Polar Bear Cubs Are Emerging Soon!

January 28, 2022

One of the most exciting times of the year in the Arctic is when polar bear cubs start to come out of their maternity dens and start to explore the world around.

In the coldest and harshest parts of the winter, pregnant polar bears will build maternity den so they can give birth in a sheltered space. They dig a through the snow in the side of a hill or snowdrifts and will make just enough space for themselves and the cub(s) to stay warm. But soon, they will emerge and start exploring.

Two places are famous for this extraordinary event, Wapusk National Park in northern Manitoba and Baffin Island, and you can see them in person.

If you are wondering how can I see polar bear cubs, safely, and in person, then come find out about our Arctic Safaris.




Polar Bear Cubs

Mothers will give birth between November to the February and will leave their maternity dens in February. Mothers most commonly give birth to twins but can also have a litter of one or three.

Polar bear cubs are born about 30 cm (11.8 in) and weigh less than 0.9 kg (2.0 lb). While they are in their den mothers and cubs will remain in a state similar to hibernation and the cubs will nurse from their mother.

When the new polar bear family leaves the den the cub will have grown to weigh 10 – 15 kg (22 – 33 lb). This significant growth in size is due to the highly fat rich milk the mother provides.

Once the family has left their maternity den they will remain close to the den for 12 – 15 days. This is an important time for the cubs to get used to the chillier weather and big bright world. The family will continue to use the den for shelter and sleeping but after about two weeks the family will start moving towards the coast where the mother can start hunting for food again.

The two weeks that the mother and cubs spend around their den is a magically time to witness.

You can watch these tender moments as the mother begins to teach the cubs how to live in this snowy world. You can see the cubs watching everything their mother does and try to replicate. See them trying to climb over snow mounds just to big for the cubs to climb over or have to slide down.

The cubs seem to have a fantastic time. You can photograph heart warming images of cubs wrestling with their siblings or playing on top of their patient mother.

Since our safari groups keep a safe distance from the family they feel comfortable and act like you aren’t there. You can photograph intimate moments that few people have ever seen in person. The experience of seeing polar bears in the wild, in their natural habitat, is truly remarkable and unforgettable.


How You Can See Polar Bear Cubs

It is an incredible feeling seeing any of the animals that call the Arctic home but seeing polar bear cubs is hard to beat. They are cute, innocent, and very playful.

You often see the siblings mimicking their mother or getting distracted and have to run to catch up as their mother walks ahead.

We can forget how important the family dynamic is in animals because we think of them as wild but witnessing such intimate moments will top anything on your bucket list.

Luckily, we have two trips where you can see polar bear cubs with their mother.


Polar Bear Mother & Newborn Cub Photography Safari

Travel to Wapusk National Park, the world’s largest polar bear denning territory, where you can witness newborn cubs in their early stages. Catch them during those magical two weeks when the family stays near their den and spend the days playing and resting together.

This is a lodge-based trip which means you will have delicious meals and comfortable nights. Travel in heated tundra vehicles to locations where you can photograph these intimate moments. Here you will spend the days getting unprecedented access to rarely-seen moments with expert Expedition Leaders that will ensure you are in ideal positions and are getting the best photographs possible.

To find out more about this exceptional trip then click here.


Spring Polar Bear & Icebergs of Baffin Island Safari

This trip takes you to Baffin Island, the land of the polar bears. Here you can witness polar bears resting among icebergs and polar bear families travelling across the stunning landscape together.

Stay in our heated Arctic tents in shelter areas where the northern lights are known to appear at night above. Our expert Inuit guides take you in traditional Inuit qamutiik sleds to well known polar bear locations where you can find them living their best life in their natural habitat. Watch powerful male polar bears march across their frosty domain, reminding you why they are the king of the Arctic.

Even more excitingly, you can come across young polar bear families exploring the world around them. Seeing a young cub learning how to hunt can often look more like baby polar bears playing tag or wrestling. Capturing a video of a mother nursing their cubs in the shelter of a towering iceberg will remind you how delicate these animals can appear.

To find out more about this exceptional trip then click here.


Experience The Arctic On A Safari

Get chances to view elusive Arctic wildlife and experience the majesty of the Arctic on safaris almost year-round. View all Arctic Safaris here. 

Ready for adventure? Contact our Arctic Travel Advisors to book your Arctic getaway. 

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Are you still curious about the many wonders of the Arctic or looking for more interesting content then explore more blogs here! 

By: Mathew Whitelaw