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Cuddles with Mom at Seal River Heritage Lodge.

Cuddles with Mom at Seal River Heritage Lodge.

by Bella Waterton, Churchill Wild Guide. Photos by Vikram Sahai.

We’ve had a great start at Seal River Heritage Lodge for the Polar Bear Photo Safari season, with a mix of weather including sunshine, rain, snow and wind — a true Arctic experience — which of course includes polar bears!

We were lucky to see a mother and cub up close one morning. They checked out the Lodge and then went their own way, but we knew their approximate location and used their tracks to guide us. We found them getting ready to settle in beside a lake, tucked into some willows, a safe and cozy spot for a mother and her cub.

Love bites from polar bear cub at Seal River Heritage Lodge.

Love bites.

As we got closer we began to realize they were doing anything but settling! The cub was rambunctious and ready to play! The mother obliged and we witnessed some special moments as the mother and cub playfully fought together in between cuddling breaks. The cub snowplowed the mother, nipped at her ears and there was even a bit of friendly sparring.

Polar bear Mom gets a hug from her cub at Seal River Heritage Lodge.

A hug for Mom at Seal River.

As we watched these beautiful animals we remained at a safe distance and stayed quiet, being well aware of our crunching boots and camera flashes. The mother and cub seemed content and relaxed, but also kept their eyes on us. They eventually did settle down, and we left to let them to rest in private…

Feeling blessed to have experienced this rare and special moment.

Polar bear Mom napping at Seal River Heritage Lodge as cub crawls over her.

Mom takes a nap. Cub not quite ready yet.

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