Polar Bear Summer
A Time for Swimming
Polar Bear Family
As the season advances the frozen surface of the ocean disintegrates, soon the ice here will have totally vanished. The polar bear family have to
adapt to the rapidly changing home. For the two cubs, this is a whole new watery world. It's the first time they've seen the sea ice break-up.
Reluctant Polar Bear Cubs
They're only six months old and will be dependent upon their mother for another two years. They have much to learn. Their first swimming lesson
and they are not sure that they want it. For their mother, swimming is second nature. But the Cubs still prefer to have ice beneath their feet whenever
they can. Soon it'll be impossible to avoid the water.
The polar bear's fur is so dense that water is easily shaken off. And ice absorbs water like a towel.
Polar Bear Balancing
This lone male has lived through a dozen summers and is perfectly at home in the sea. He can swim up to 50 miles a day. He is hungry and he's searching this ice maze for seals. But, travelling across this increasingly fragile ice-scape is hard work for an animal weighing over half a ton.
It's also harder to hunt when you have to swim. In open water, the odds are in the seal's favour. Lean months lie ahead for the polar bears. They will have to adopt a new hunting strategy, or risk starvation.
There's now little chance of catching seals and this bear may not eat again until the end of summer. It's better to save energy and doze in the sun. The warmth, of the sun's rays, is now bringing Arctic land to life.