International Polar Bear Day is celebrated annually on 27 February and was initially organized by non-profit charity, Polar Bears International, a conservation organization for polar bears that was founded in 1994.
The day is celebrated and promoted now to raise awareness of the impact that environmental causes such as global warming are having on Polar Bear habitats, and reduced sea ice limiting polar bear populations.
• Read more: Best camera for wildlife photography (opens in new tab)
International Polar Bear Day encourages people to find ways that they can reduce their carbon output, such as turning down their thermostat or driving less on shorter journeys. The day has also been used in some instances to encourage the installation of energy efficient insulation in specific houses.
The folks over at Picfair (opens in new tab) have kindly shared some polar bear images with us submitted from some incredible photographers, that showcase the beauty of polar bears whilst highlighting that urgent action is needed to protect them from endangerment.(opens in new tab) (opens in new tab)
Did you know: polar bears are actually black, not white! Their skin is black with transparent fur that has a hollow core that reflects light, helping with camouflage.(opens in new tab) (opens in new tab)
Derek Kyostia (opens in new tab) has spent many years observing and managing a grizzly bear viewing operation, focussing on public education, and later found an additional love for sub-arctic polar bears in a seamless transition "just as one was bidding the grizzly bears goodnight for the winter, the abbreviated ‘polar bear season’ was upon us." He continues that "I’ve become a bipolar guide bouncing back and forth seasonally between the poles. Bears are beautiful, sentiment, powerful, intelligent charismatic mega-fauna. Who wouldn’t want to capture that through photography?!".(opens in new tab) (opens in new tab)
Fun fact: Some polar bears can weigh as much as a small car! One of the largest bear species on the planet, an adult male polar bear can often weigh up to 600 kilograms and reach 3 metres tall when standing on their hind legs.(opens in new tab)
A big thanks to Picfair and the contributing photographers featured for supplying us with these wholesome arctic images, and joining us in celebration and support of International polar bear day. Our favorite image has to be Polar bears in snow by Ellen Wallace (opens in new tab), simply beautiful.
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These are the best photos of the year, according to Picfair (opens in new tab)