Remember the sequence of photos showing a mourning swallow'?

The commentary with it gushed all sentimental about a bird crying out in grief at the death of its 'wife' (sic ... and sick) when any half-way competent ornithologist could tell you that, in fact, it showed exactly the opposite - a deadly territorial battle between two males.

Such interpretations annoy me because there are genuinely extraordinary things that happen with wild animals, events that don't need us imposing our human views on them.

Here's one - a truly remarkable collection taken in the wilds of Canada's Hudson Bay. The photographer, Norbert Rosing, said that when the polar bear appeared he was sure he was going to see the end of his huskies ...

Extraordinary! And moving. I have no doubt that these are genuine. In the first image the dogs are aggressive (flattened ears) and the bear is wary. But, by the 5th image the bear appears to be grooming the dog. And in the last one - unbelievably - it is in a submissive posture.

Just a couple of things puzzle me. It looks like there are two bears shown here. Note the difference in shape and colouring of the muzzle between the bears in the first and second images.

Also, all the images appear to have been taken on the ice pack except for number 3 which has lots of grass.

An incredible sequence. But let's not get too sentimental about it.

I'd guess it was a well-fed bear (or bears).


Debbie said...

The dog in the first picture is different from the dog in subsequent pictures, as well.

Neat pictures, nevertheless.

Alistair Scott said...

Neat observation too!