Polar Bear Land

trackPosition: N 75 30.401, W 093 40.616
Temperature: -33 °C/ -36°F

Just after Sigrid finished her dispatch last night our campsite was again visited by polar bears. This time it was two bears. One huge mamma bear and her two year-old cub. Unlike our curious visitor earlier in the evening, these bears were not easy to scare off and they got very close to our dogs and tents – we measurered the distance at about 6 meters. It took about five bear bangers and flares to scare the bears off and we were all pretty scared when they got as close as they did. Luckily for us, the bears are well fed this time of year as they feed on the newly born seal pups and the adult seals that are nesting under the snow on top of the ice.

Today when we continued our journey we saw over 20 different bear tracks and it became clear to us that we now are in an area that is a great habitat for the bears. At one place we saw the fresh evidence of a successful kill. We saw the remains of a seal den, polar bear tracks and lots of blood. Life is harsh here in the high arctic and a polar bear needs to eat too.

Traveling today was very hard. We battled through rough ice for the third day in a row. Seeing all the polar bear tracks we also kept looking over our shoulder. Tonight we finally came to flatter ice and we hope tomorrow will bring better travelling conditions – and that we will not be woken up by bears tonight.

We are all doing very well.

Toby Thorleifsson

 

Additional Info:

The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) is a Bear native to the Arctic and Subarctic. The world’s largest land carnivore (meat eater, feeds on other aimals), an adult male generally weighs 300–600 kg (660–1320 lb), while an adult female is about half that size. Its fur is hollow and translucent, but usually appears as white or cream colored, thus providing the animal with effective camouflage. Its skin is actually black. The thick blubber and fur insulate it against the cold. The bear has a short tail and small ears that help reduce heat loss, as well as a relatively small head and long, tapered body to streamline it for swimming. The polar bear is adapted for a life on land, sea, and ice. It feeds mainly on seals, young walruses, and whales, although it is an opportunistic feeder and will eat almost anything if hungry.

The polar bear is classified as a vulnerable species. Scientists believe that the projected decreases in the polar sea ice due to global warming will reduce their population by two thirds by 2050.


This dispatch was created and posted using Dispatch 1.0 – an expedition dispatch software developed by Climate Generation and Global Warming 101 Expeditions.

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