A thin mother polar bear roaming with her critically hungry cub inspects a resting walrus, on the chance that it’s sick or dead, but it’s quite capable of defending itself.
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Travis Wilkinson and his family were on a sailing trip in Norway’s Svalbard archipelago, far north of the Arctic Circle. In late July, 2015, they were traveling through Hinlopen Strait, west of the largest island, Spitsbergen—an impossible route some summers, when pack ice blocks passage. But that summer, ice was especially sparse, making hunting harder for polar bears. These apex predators favor waiting at the sea ice’s edge, striking seals as they approach. A few days earlier, the Wilkinson family had been farther north, near the ice. There, bears looked healthy. But the scene just after midnight on July 23 was desperate. Mother and cub were struggling, skin hanging loose. According to Jon Aars, of the Norwegian Polar Institute, the cub, seven or eight months old, was likely to die if its mother didn’t eat soon. She probably wasn’t lactating. Wilkinson saw the bear sniff the air, picking up something of interest. This thin female couldn’t attack a healthy, full-grown walrus. A carcass would solve their problem. If the walrus were weak or sick, predation might be an option. But that walrus was alive and well. The situation was unworkable. The search for food went on.

Read more about the polar bear and walrus, “Desperate for Food, Polar Bear Tests Walrus”

Mother Polar Bear, Desperate for Food, Tests Walrus | National Geographic

National Geographic


  1. This mother polar bear is on the hunt for food for her young, but can't attack a large live walrus on her own. How do you think this mother bear can feed her young given the current circumstances? To learn more about this interaction between the polar bear and walrus, please check out this article: http://bit.ly/2E8kOCl

  2. These collars put on wildlife
    Always look too tight. I know the concern is not to have the thing fall off, however you don't want to strangle the creature either especially if the animal is still growing. How about some type of cjip or small device implnted under the fur while tje animal is unconscious.

  3. The hunting of these bears needs to be outlawed world wide. Canada still sells tickets for their death, they play it off as natives using them as a cultural thing when in reality those natives sell their tickets to big paying loser trophy hunters. It's disgusting and needs to stop.

  4. I know we should let nature be but would we not help our own homeless people or people starving in africa because we shouldn't interfere with nature?They lack the skills to survive so they can just go die, right?

  5. Instead of just filming and doing absolutely nothing maybe they should give the mama bear and cub food. So many major supermarkets around the world waste so much food. They should just give it to the starving animals.

  6. Many here will try to turn videos such as this into a political debate over global warming or the coined phrase
    “ Climate Change “
    Which is the overly obvious purpose of this brief bit of footage.
    When temperatures rise, one species might benefit, while the other this might make things more difficult, the reverse is true when temperatures drop.
    This is nature.
    It’s worth noting the Walruses seemed to be well fed.

  7. Maybe one of the problems that lead to her problems to be natural on her environment and be able to hunt to feed herself and her cub was that necklace on her neck… Once again, shame on that human behaviour to tag and follow every wild animal on this planet for study!!!

  8. I live in Alaska it is winter now, the ice is nearly 8 feet thick. This was filmed near mid summer, the ice leaves during the month of June, we snowmobile well into May on the ocean. Besides the warming trend of the planet is over,(at equilibrium) soon we will be descending into the deep freeze(ice age) again. Hang on, the next craze will be global cooling. That one will bring them trillions and way more sympathizers, people hate cold. I wish it would keep warming, than more people would move to Canada and soon they could grow fruit trees in the arctic again.


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