Shared Moment: Polar Fleece

A photographer captures a tender moment as polar bears cuddle for warmth

  • Photograph by Missy Mandel
  • PhotoZone
  • Jan 30, 2018

SETTLING IN for a long winter’s nap, a polar bear cub curls close to its sleeping mother on the snowy edge of Kaktovic, Alaska, along the Beaufort Sea. Photographing the pair from a nearby boat, Missy Mandel was captivated by the tiny town and the numerous bears that gather there, waiting for the ice to freeze so they can head out to hunt for seals. “I needed to see this magical place,” says Mandel, an avid fan of photographing wildlife, especially mothers and their young. “I just have a connection I can’t explain.”

To submit images for consideration, write to with “Shared Moment” in the subject line.

National Wildlife® Photo Contest

Call for entries!

This cuddly pair of polar bears won an honorable mention in National Wildlife’s 2017 photo contest. Our 2018 contest is now open for entries through March 16. We invite you to enter your images and earn a chance to win prizes and publication in National Wildlife magazine. Good luck! To enter, go to

More from National Wildlife magazine and the National Wildlife Federation:

Nature's Witnesses »
Wildlife Guide: Polar Bear »
National Wildlife Federation Blog: Polar Bears »
See Last Issue's Shared Moment »

Get Involved

Where We Work

More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. We're on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 52 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.

Learn More
Regional Centers and Affiliates