A remarkable event happens in Wapusk National Park in Manitoba, Canada, every year, in March and April. Polar bears who entered â€œmaternity densâ€ the previous October and gave birth in November are ready to leave their dens for the first time, their nowfour-month-old cubs in tow. The timing coincides with the annual seal birthing season on the pack ice in Hudsonâ€™s Bay â€” easy food for the polar bears. Itâ€™s extremely rare to witness the exit of the bears from their dens and one has to face incredibly challenging conditions. Temperatures can drop as low as -54C. Winds will gust up to 60 kms (38 miles) an hour. That effort is well rewarded, though, if youâ€™re able to witness the most iconic animal of the Arctic kingdom in such close proximity, at its most intimate moments.
Daisy Gilardini is originally from Switzerland but now lives in Vancouver â€“ Canada. She started taking photography seriously during her first trip to India in 1989 and since then has visited more than 70 countries with camera in hand. She fell in love with Antarctica during her first trip there in 1996 and since then has spent most of her time photographing the Polar Regions. In almost two decades of polar explorations she joined over fifty expeditions to Antarctica and the Arctic, most of them on research vessels and icebreakers, one on a sailing boat, some overland and in 2006 she joined a Russian expedition to the North Pole on skies. Daisyâ€™s images have been published internationally by leading magazines and organizations, such as National Geographic, Smithsonian, BBC Wildlife, Natureâ€™s Best, Audubon, The Telegraph, Outdoor Photography, Greenpeace, World Wildlife Fund, among many others. Her work has received awards at the most prestigious international photo contests such as the â€œIPA International Photography Awardâ€, â€œBBC Wildlife photographer of the yearâ€, â€œPhotography Master Awardâ€, â€œTravel Photography of the Yearâ€ and â€œNatureâ€™s Bestâ€. In April 2010 Daisy had the great honor to be part of the jury of the â€œBBC Wildlife Photographer of the Yearâ€ considered as the â€œOscarsâ€ of nature photography photo contests. Her passion for the natural world has grown into a lifelong commitment to disseminate conservation messages and inspire others to respect and preserve our fragile planet. For her dedication in environmental issues, in fall 2009, Daisy has been accepted as a member of the League of iLCP the International League of Conservation Photographers. In fall 2010 she has been accepted as a fellow at the prestigious â€œThe Explorer Clubâ€ - an honor reserved for those who have distinguished themselves by directly contributing to scientific knowledge in the field of geographical exploration or allied sciences. Daisy is also member of the Swiss Nikon Ambassadorâ€™s team, the SanDisk Extreme Team and the Canadian Loweprofessional Team. To find out more about Daisy : www.daisygilardini.com