In a previous post I expressed my doubts about young bears being born in Spitsbergen this winter. Due to the very late arrival of the sea ice, the denning sites were far away from the ice, so the bears had to cover a large distant swimming or walk over the ice to Frans Joseph Land in the north east. Bears who spent the summer on land had been stuck there for quite a few months and I doubted they were in good enough condition to reproduce.
Clearly I was wrong (fortunately). During the first trip of the season we already found a mother with young cubs. And mother seemed to be doing well. The cubs were very curious and playful, but seemed to listen to mother. Although mother seemed to want to keep a bit larger distance from our ship as the young had in mind. But also for her the curiosity won, so we had a great look at this nice young family. I hope she will be careful with them and that in two years they are both still alive and ready for a life on their own.