Inquisitive polar bear cub raises its paw and appears to welcome post-lockdown expedition to the Arctic
- The images of the polar bear cub were taken during a photography expedition to Svalbard, Norway
- The cub raises itself on to its hind legs before raising its paw at the ship, which was anchored nearby
- Photographer Roy Mangersnes said he watched the cubs, who looked healthy, playing with each other
An inquisitive polar bear cub raises its paw and appears to welcome a post-lockdown expedition to the Arctic.
Wildlife photographer Roy Mangersnes captured the stunning shots of a seemingly friendly polar bear family on Friday.
His pictures show a cub standing on its hind legs and appearing to wave towards the camera.
The series of delightful images were shot at Svalbard in northern Norway, on one of the first expeditions after lockdown to the region this year.
‘All of a sudden, only a few meters away from our expedition vessel one of the cubs got up on its hind legs and waved at us, almost like it was welcoming us back to their frozen home,’ said Roy.
A polar bear on its back legs, seemingly welcoming a group of post-lockdown visitors to Svalbard in Norway
Wildlife photographer Roy Mangersnes captured the stunning shots of a seemingly friendly polar bear family on Friday
The cub, flanked by its mother, raises a paw as a photography expedition neared the bears’ icy habitat in Svalbard, Norway
Roy was part of a photography expedition forced to wait four agonising months for lockdowns to ease. They were finally given the go-ahead and arrived at Svalbard last week.
Both last year and this season so far there has been a lot of ice around Svalbard and the conditions have been very good for the resident Polar bears.
‘Finally coming back on an expedition, after months of covid-19 lockdown, we hoped to maybe see females with cubs, and we were treated to an incredible encounter on day three,’ Roy added.
‘We docked the ship at safe distance next to a large ice floe and watched this beautiful family of three as they went on with their lives.
‘The mother and her cubs looked healthy and fat, and she was calm and spent most of her time sleeping, while the two seven-month-old cubs did what polar bear cubs do best – play!
Both last year and this season so far there has been a lot of ice around Svalbard and the conditions have been very good for the resident Polar bears
Pictured: The family of polar bears before the young cub came to the edge of the ice and raised its paws to the travellers to Svalbard in Norway
‘They would jump each other, and roll around in the ice, sometimes climbing little icebergs and slide back down like children at the playground.’
‘After a while the mother decided to come closer to check us out and give us a proper welcome back to the Arctic,’ Roy said.
‘The cubs were obviously eager to come closer, as they probably hadn’t seen any other ships in their lifetime and jolted forward under the watchful eye of their mother.’
Though the display from the cub may have seemed like a friendly welcome, bears have been known to wave either when protecting territory or to warn humans against approaching them.
It has also been seen among bears begging for food.