Polar bears at the bottom of the Nordenskiöldbreen
Visiting Nordenskiöldbreen and being in front of such beauty, and in such weather conditions, was one of the most beautiful experiences in Svalbard. The true highlight was, in the end, spotting a few polar bears in the ultimate arctic environment.
We approached the glacier to observe it. And then, someone started yelling: “Bears! Bears! Can everyone see them?”. I was trying to figure out where they were but the front of the glacier was enormous and spotting them was really a tough job. I asked a nearby passenger to lend me the binoculars, just to get some idea where I should point my camera at. He described where to look and I spotted the bears.
It was, in its own way, a beautiful picture. There was a mother bear with two bear cubs, covered in blood, feasting on a carcass. They were enjoying their meal peacefully and uninterrupted.
I am intentionally posting the pics in order for you to see how tiny they are in comparison to the Nordenskioldbreen. You can barely see them on the last photo.
We were all thoroughly impressed and the sound of shutters was like a machine gun burst. That was the moment when everyone was happy that they paid serious amounts of money for their telephoto lenses.
I asked the guide about possible approaches towards the bears. She said that the ship was already on the closest distance approved by law. Norwegians fiercely protect the wildlife and the fines for breaching the law are tremendous; no one even thinks about doing anything illegal.
She also mentioned that the bear cubs have a high mortality rate, and disturbing a mother bear with two cubs, thus would be extremely wrong. It makes me truly happy that someone actually cares about the animals in such vulnerable environment.