We’ve spent hours watching polar bear videos: babies mucking about with their moms, alpha males stalking unsuspecting seals and—one of our personal favourites—a gang of bears playing football with an Arctic spy cam. Here are our fondest clips of the cuddly beasts of the Arctic Circle. And because we feel no life lived is complete without actually seeing a polar bear in the wild, we’re telling you how and where you can make it happen too.
A hilarious clip of one bear’s valiant attempts at rousing the interests of a member of the opposite sex.
For decades, scientists have postulated that polar bears are incredibly inquisitive, intelligent creatures, and very playful too. If this doesn’t prove it…
Catch them in the wild Both these videos were shot in Svalbard, Norway, an island in the Arctic that draws serious amateurs and scientists from across the planet. Sign up for a Norwegian cruise (fjords, snowy peaks, and vast sheets of ice) to spot these bears. Chances are higher in the summer—between June and August—near sea ice where they hunt ring seal.
Polar bear cubs don’t spend too much time with their dads (largely because they often try to eat them up) but they do with their mommies.
Polar bears are great (and look how friendly they are!) but as this video shows us, the vast Arctic landscapes alone are worthy of a journey.
Catch them in the wild The town of Churchill in the Hudson Bay region of Canada is often called the “polar bear capital of the world”. There are a number of wildlife reserves protecting the bears, and institutions like the The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) that organise annual tours to observe the animals at Hudson Bay. The best time to see the bears at Churchill is around October and November.
Cute they may be, but polar bears are known for their prowess as hunters, as this gripping video proves (watch out for 2:42 sec).
Sometimes, the best thing a mother bear can do is steer clear of a hunt, and forage for food instead.
Catch them in the wild The village of Kaktovik on Barter Island, Alaska, is part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Polar-bear watching tours in this region are strictly monitored and government-approved (for a list of companies, see here, but ensure that they are still authorised at the time of booking). The bears congregate along the coast during the ice-free period between August and October.