Polar Bears are the largest land predator in the world. According to researchers their population will likely decline to half by 2020. This is why they are the poster children for climate change. There are 19 polar bear populations globally and 8 of them are in decline. Only one shows an increase, and the others lack information. It is for this any many other reasons that when a last minute opportunity arises to go to Wapusk National Park, Manitoba for polar bear cubs, I seize the moment.
The invitation is due to a very rare and last minute cancellation of another photographer. In order to make the trip worthwhile photographically, I have 48 hours to secure the right gear, namely an 800mm lens. A call to Nikon Pro Services in Toronto yields just what I need and the courier delivers a loaner to me the next morning. It comes in a metal strong box with locks. Rightly so, the item is valued at $20,000. I have never used a lens this big and the 10 lbs of glass is cumbersome, but at the same time, entirely necessary. I book my last minute Westjet flight to Winnipeg and now I am loaded for bear!