In Polar Bear Country. Picture by Ivan Gromicho
In Polar Bear Country. Picture by Ivan Gromicho

By Jeffrey Krause, University Alabama, USA

I had seen a polar bear twice in United States zoos; however, seeing one in the wild was exhilarating.  I am amazed by the sheer size of the animal, these bears are enormous.  It is a rare opportunity to see a great predator and not be in danger (i.e. seeing from the ship).  The two details which surprised me most were it’s appearance and movement.  The color of its fur was more yellowish than I expected, which I was told was due to it being stained by oils from its seal prey over the hunting season.  Additionally, this bear moved almost effortlessly among ice; this animal is clearly well adapted for the ice environment.  This encounter was unforgettable and I feel fortunate for the opportunity to see the polar bear in its domain.