Did you know this about Polar Bears?

Thursday, 9th July 2020

Destination Specialist

polar bear arctic

The King of the Arctic, the mighty polar bear is only found in the northernmost regions of the world, including Svalbard, Greenland, Russia, Canada and Alaska. According to World Wildlife Fund, there are up to 31,000 wild polar bears left wandering these Arctic parts. Here are 10 interesting facts about these majestic creatures:

1) Polar bears are not actually white

Their fur is not white, but rather transparent with a hollow core to reflect light, making it appear white. Beneath this, their skin is black to absorb the sun’s heat.

2) Polar bears have an incredible sense of smell

When prowling the shore for its next meal, a polar bears strong sense of smell means it can catch a whiff its main prey, seals, from up to half a mile away. They can also smell a seal through 3 feet of packed snow.

spitsbergen polar bear admiring reflection astk

3) Polar bears are superb swimmers

They are able to stay in the water for long periods of time and have been spotted in waters over 100km from the shoreline. Using their slightly webbed wide paws as paddles, polar bears are able to sustain a comfortable pace of 10km per hour.

4) Polar bears are generally solitary creatures

On the whole they tend to keep to themselves, but polar bears have been known to hang out in groups, which are called sleuths. They have an excellent memory and can remember other bears they haven’t seen for years.

canada manitoba polar bear tundra istk

5) Polar bears have no natural predators in the wild

Top of the Arctic food chain, adult polar bears have no natural predators, though walruses and wolves can kill them.

6) The average lifespan of a wild polar bear is 15 – 18 years

In the wild, polar bears can live up to 25 – 30 years, however several polar bears are known to have lived to more than 40 years old in captivity.

spitsbergen polar bear and cubs db

7) Polar bears are considered marine mammals

The only type of bear to be considered a marine mammal, although polar bears are born on land, they spend the majority of their life in the ocean searching for food.

8) Polar bears are the world’s largest land carnivore

They are rivalled only by Alaska’s Kodiak brown bear.

arctic polar bear3 rh

9) Polar and Grizzly bear hybrids do exist

They are known as Grolar or Pizzly bears!

10) Polar bears are classified as vulnerable

Their biggest threat is sadly habitat loss due to climate change.

arctic spitsbergen polar bear

Feeling Inspired?

Read where you can spot Polar Bears and how to photograph them in Canada!

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