Photographs © Michael Poliza.

Often, there is so much more to what we can see. These photos are beautiful and inspiring on their own, but heartbreaking and tragic when told with their story.

“Churchill has the largest, and most southerly, concentration of the animals on the planet. In late summer and early fall the polar bears make their way to the Hudson Bay, waiting for it to freeze over so they can hunt for seals on the ice. But every year, the ice is forming later and later, forcing the polar bears to go hungry for longer. Notes Andrew Derocher, professor of biological sciences at the University of Alberta, who has spent his decades long career studying polar bears, ‘Our estimation is that we probably won’t have polar bears in Churchill once we get out to mid-century … They could be gone in a couple of years. If we had a very early melt, and a very late freeze, we could see up to 50 percent mortality in a single year.’”

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