Steven Hanner | Polar Bear Labrador Sea

Created 14-Dec-11
Modified 11-Jan-12
Visitors 41
34 photos
On a recent Arctic expedition we entered the coastal ice of Eastern Labrador to be within helicopter range of Goose Bay. The Watchkeeper announced sighting a Polar bear on the ice floes and all were on deck to have a look.
As we approached it became obvious the bear was feeding and didn't want to be interrupted. It looked at us a number of times, but continued eating until we came very close.
We supposed the bear was fairly young and that, since it was not blood-stained, it had probably scavenged the seal hide it was chewing on.
The next day we were fogged-in, so the crew was given a day off and a bacon and egg brunch.
I think it's likely the bear smelled the bacon, because not long after we ate the Watchkeeper again announced a polar bear on the ice. It was obvious the bear was working it's way across the ice floes directly to our ship and of course the entire crew were on deck.
The bear showed little or no fear of us and was rewarded with leftover bacon from the Cook and a Vegemite sandwich from an Aussie crew member. The Captain then ordered a stop to feeding of the bear, so we contented ourselves with taking photo's and marveling at this possibly once in a lifetime experience.
The bear continued to beg food and prowl the ship for over 40 minutes! I took approximately 200 photo's in that time, which is an average of 5 per minute.
That night the Captain ordered the ship locked and secured for safety. It was reported by one of the Watchkeepers that in the wee hours of the morning the bear returned to the ship and, by climbing an ice floe which was piled very high, tested the hull and the Poop Deck doors.

Categories & Keywords
Subcategory:Snow Wildlife
Subcategory Detail:
Keywords:50-135, Animal, Nature, Sea, Snow, Water, Wildlife, arctic, arctic expedition, canada, goose bay, ice bear, ice floes, k20d, labrador sea, newfoundland, pentax, polar bear

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