I've always had a fascination with bears. I've loved old stories and tales that would talk about totems and spirit animals and how the bear was considered one of the strongest. I did all sorts of research, talked wih people and and finally discovered a location and outstanding guide where I could get up close and personal within the a polar bear. Turns out I saw over 30 different bears. in fact our very first encounter a large male bear decided to come down to the shore and great us (or warn us away)
The bears all seemed well fed, but that was probably because just a couple weeks prior the local Eskimo village had captured one of its three allowed whales each year. They divided most of the blubber and meat among the villagers, but they towed the remaining carcass out to a barrier island where bears from all around came to gnaw away at the scraps,. The bears were gathering just before the ocean froze over so they could proceed out onto the ice and their typical hunting grounds.
Typically loners, except for mother and cubs, the bears were quite plentiful and a number of different groups were all over the area.
There were several groups of mothers and cubs. Most of the cub were about 8 months old, and getting big enough to get into trouble but yet still depended on mom.
The bears would spend the day huddled up when the winds were blowing but would then forage around looking for food or checking out the neighbors.
A few times the bears would test out the water, transitioning from one island to another or just looking for some food, or who knows maybe they just wanted a swim.
Staring down a seagull! Wonder who thinks who is the most foolish?
Now with so many bears around there's bound to be a squabble or two, or at least standing up for yourself.
But maybe after while of this jousting, it maybe just bragging... You should have seen how big the seal that got away was!
Actually, this would go on for quite a while so I think it was more play than fight, or perhaps a dance! John Travolta eat your heart out!
But it was always fun to watch the cubs.
It was a bit scary how close the bears were to the village.
It was such a neat experience to share some time with polar bears. So goodbye for now, I can't wait to do it again.
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