In spring, polar bear mothers emerge from dens with three month old cubs. The mother bear has fasted for as long as eight months but that does not stop the young from demanding full access to her remaining reserves. If there are triplets, the most persistent stands to gain an extra meal and it may have the meal at the expense of others. The smallest of the litter forfeits many meals to stronger siblings. Females are protective of their cubs but tend to ignore family rivalry over food. In 21 years of photographing polar bears, I’ve only once seen the smallest of triplets survive till autumn.