1972 Photo Contest, General News, 1st prize

Kent E. Gavin

Daily Mirror

01 January, 1971

Operation Bearlift: Oscar, one of fifty polar bears that run loose around the town of Churchill in Manitoba, Canada, is being lifted into his cage for a 320km airlift to safety. The polar bears were due to be shot after they had rampaged garbage dumps in the town of Churchill, near the Arctic Circle. They had also attacked humans while waiting for the ice to form in Hudson Bay to enable them to hunt for prey. As the government threatened to kill the bears, the International Wildlife Organisation organized an airlift to save their lives. The bears were shot with a tranquilizing dart, placed in special cages and flown for two hours to a point predetermined in Manitoba. The Daily Mirror had been invited to witness the airlift. Some journalists were allowed to accompany the bears in the plane to their destination.

About the photographer

Kent E. Gavin

Kent Gavin is a British photojournalist whose images have featured consistently on newspaper and magazine covers throughout the world. In 1968, he joined the Daily Mirror as a s...

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