Polar Bears swimming underwater at the Journey to Churchill, Winnipeg, Manitoba

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This is without a doubt one of the most memorable things i’ve ever seen.  Regardless of your personal views on wildlife kept in captivity, the Journey to Churchill at Assiniboine Park Zoo in Winnipeg is an amazing facility.  In collaberation with The International Polar Bear Centre also located at Winnipeg’s zoo it allows visitors a chance to view Polar Bears in a very unique way.  This is Kaska an orphaned female relocated from Churchill, Manitoba after her mother was shot and killed.

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Shooting through the thick curved plexiglass and the variety of lighting and reflections is very tricky, but with a fast indoor lens and a little experimentation I managed a few keepers.  Images were high iso, grainy and pretty soft through the glass and water, even the best autofocus systems have trouble through 6-8 inches of curved plexiglass, but it’s more about the moment than technical perfection.

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Visitors viewing Kaska

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For a brief period we watched two bears play under the water.

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