By Freya Coombes
STUNNING shots have emerged showing polar bears enjoying the last summertime bloom of Canada’s spectacular August fireweed.
One image shows a mother and cub in a purple field of flowers, cuddled up together while another image shows a polar bear asleep on a rock, all curled up, surrounded by beautiful purple flowers.
Polar bears are not actually white, they have black skin with white fur. They can weigh up to 1,500 pounds and measure in excess of seven feet long.
Professional photographer and cinematographer Martin Gregus (26) captured these stunning shots close to Churchill, Manitoba in Canada over the course of 33 days.
“It was beautiful, it was a tough trip. It took 33 days to get these images,” he said
“They are dangerous but they let you be there and choose to be gentle, opening their life a little bit in your presence and that is amazing. Especially when the mothers nurse their cubs.
“A big love of my life has been photography and nature.
“I love to tell stories through my images.
“It comes with a responsibility that you have to tell these stories in a fair way to the animal. It is challenging.”
Martin underwent a near-death experience, but not from the bears. Whilst on a boat, Marin became trapped in a treacherous storm for five day, fighting for his life alongside the crew.
The arctic threw many challenges at him, the environment providing the greatest challenge of all.
“There was once that we felt greatly in danger from the arctic. We went a few days earlier, trying to build the relationship with the bears,” said Martin.
“It was five days of the worst storm I have ever seen, the waves were treacherous.
“The arctic provided some near-death experiences.
“We were fighting for our lives for five days. In the moment we didn’t know how bad it was. We were just trying to survive. I texted my dad and he would have known that may have been the last message I ever sent him.
“People see the bears and sunny weather but there were moments that were incredibly tough and changed me.
“It is unpredictable but we were never in danger with the bears. We had bear guards for protection.
“I find these images a little overwhelming and incredibly moving. I owe my career to the polar bears.”