Thursday, July 9, 2009

Please Help the Polar Bears..

*Petting* Kenda

Hello everyone,

I'd like you to meet a good friend of mine named Kenda. She and I have never sat down face to face over a cuppa tea- I don't think it would be all that safe for me. She has huge claws, and even if she was only playfully pawing, she could possibly rip me to shreds. Instinct might then take over. ;) I do see her socially, quite often. Kenda is a Polar bear who doesn't live very far from me, which means I am able to spend a lot of time photographing her. She is, as far as I know, the only living Polar bear in New England, in Massachusetts. (We do have one other. His name is Orson. He's the
Polar Beverage companies' mascot, is made of vinyl, and sits atop their building, which you can see from Rte 290.)

Kenda's a great bear, and I love taking my children to see her. She is getting on up there in Bear years, being 25 now. She was born at the by her mom, Ursa Minor, and her Father, Ursa Major (he was moved to another zoo when Kenda was born for safety reasons). {Read their story here.} Kenda's birth was quite a big thrill in Worcester, Mass. They had a contest to name her, and lots of visitors came to see the Mom & baby Polar bears. If you are ever in the area, definitely go see her, as it's well worth the trip.

Kenda etsyveg1735_1133

I recently won the Etsy for Charity Challenge award for one of my many photos of her. I was very happy with my prizess from winning the challenge; however, I wish that among the rewards had been protection for Kenda's wild relatives. Polar Bear populations continue to decline, and continue to need our help to protect their habitat and their lives! You can help by (please) signing this Care2 Petition to help Polar bears, for starters. In addition, through July 26th, 100% of all proceeds from any 5x7 Kenda photo (or $5 from each larger photo) will be donated to the Ecotarium where she lives to help pay for her & her friends' care.

Polar bear coming in for a closer l@@K

Kenda would say thanks if she could, but I will say it for her instead: Thank you! And in thanks for taking a few moments to sign the petition, I've given Etsyveg blog readers an exclusive glimpse at these photos of Kenda in several poses & moods, some of them never-before-viewed! I hope you all enjoy them. Click the photos of Kenda in the water to view the many more photos of her & friends in my flickr account, or check out photos of her available for purchase in my shop.

Kenda roaring.. (edit)

All photos of Kenda herein are copyrighted solely by H. O'Connor, and are not to be reprinted or used without express permission.


Rebecca at KneeDeepOriginals said...

I signed the petition, and I thank you for sharing your beautiful photos and for your work on this important issue... and of course for making all of us aware.

When I saw the city of Worcester mentioned in your blog, I was brought back to my childhood since I was raised in the nearby city of Fitchburg, until I was nine and we moved to North Carolina! I'm a big Red Sox fan though.

Also, I have a painting on my website that focuses on environmental and animal rights / protection issues. You can see it on the Animal Paintings page at It features a polar bear.

FireHorse3 said...

Heather, these photos are so beautiful. Thank you for sharing them with us. Just off to sign the petition...

JulieWebb Photography+Design said...

Great pics Heather, it really looks like you could just reach out and pat him! :)

Heather said...

Thank you everyone, for the praise and for helping the Polar Bears!!
Rebecca I saw that polar bear on your site.. LOVE IT! Very cool.
It does look like you could reach out and pat her, I especially love the water photos she's so close to my son in one shot.. it's cool.


Flores Hayes said...

ooo...I love pandas.
Here I bought a cuddly panda bag (L) that I can hardly put it down!
I believe it is a GREAT find for every panda fanatic!
Flor (