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A polar bear mother and cub.

A new year, a new polar bear, a new name!

It’s time to join another polar bear on her journey as she hunts for food, takes care of her cub, and hopefully thrives in the harsh Arctic environment. X33410, or Ursula (“Little Bear”), seems like she will be an especially interesting bear to keep an eye on, so please join us as we post updates and watch her on Polar Bears International’s Bear Tracker throughout the coming year.

This 8-year-old female was collared last fall with one yearling cub. This cub might be her first ever litter, at most her second, so Ursula is still learning how to be a good mom. However, it seems she is doing a great job because having a yearling means that she already got her baby over its first major hurdle: being a small, defenseless cub in a large, unforgiving environment. For this reason, we are hopeful that this little family’s next hurdle goes smoothly: this spring, we expect Ursula will wean her (then) >2 year old cub, find a new mate, and get ready for her next litter.

Until then, let’s focus on this family’s movements which have already been interesting to watch. Since just mid-October, Ursula has made her way up the west coast of Hudson Bay, traveling over 325 km (202 mi) and occasionally stepping out on some early bands of sea ice. She was the most northern polar bear on PBI’s Bear Tracker page (look for the red bear icon!) at times, and seems to be doing whatever she can to get her and her cub access to seals. Her cub is likely old enough now to be a good  hunting partner, practicing for its future without mom and helping Ursula to gain enough weight to sustain her next pregnancy.

Ursula will be fun to keep an eye on this year as she hunts for food, takes care of her cub, and potentially mates this spring. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that we can continue to track her throughout the season and get a glimpse into the world of another polar bear.

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