21st Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Natural World
Sparring Polar Bears

Male polar bears often spar to relieve the boredom of waiting for ice to reform on the surface of Hudson Bay so that they can return to hunting and eating seal, their main diet. Real bites and slashes occur during these bouts but fortunately there are several inches of fat underneath the skin so that the bear receives no permanent or even debilitating injuries.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 11.2022
Date Uploaded: 10.2023
Photo Location: Churchill, Canada
Copyright: © Jim Chung