While in the den with her cubs, a polar bear mother goes without eating for four to eight months, depending on where in the Arctic she lives. Den departure dates range from March to May.
After the family emerges from their snow den, they usually hang around for a week or two while the cubs get used to the outside world. When the mother feels they are ready for the journey, she leads them to the sea ice so she can hunt seals. The mother is VERY hungry after going without food for so long.
The cubs don’t help with hunting at first. They must learn to be quiet so their mother can catch a seal—and they learn how to hunt by watching her.