Polar bears in Canada’s western Hudson Bay are beginning to come ashore for the summer, four weeks earlier than the average return date during the 1980s. Because the ice in Hudson Bay melts completely during summer, the region’s polar bears - which, like all members of the species, hunt seals on sea ice - spend the summer months holed up in cool earthen dens until the ice returns.
Because sea ice has been melting earlier and forming later in the bay in recent years, bears have been forced to spend more time on land and less on the ice, reducing their ability to eat and raising concerns about the population’s future.
Innovative wildlife filmmaker John Downer uses covert digital technology to bring human audiences astonishingly close to the most reclusive wild animals. With elephants and tigers as previous subjects, Downer’s latest offering is focused on the beautiful but endangered maritime species in Polar Bear: Spy On The Ice.