Ferry tourists in the North Sea, beyond Siberia, had a rare experience when what they thought they were big ice-blocks on land, proved to be approximately 200 polar bears.
‘It was a very unique situation. We were all amazed, to be honest , said Alexander Gruzdev, who manages the nature reserve on Vrangeløya.
The polar bears had come to hunt Greenland whales, and lay down to rest after
Climate change causes the ice the polar bears travel to to melt earlier in the year, and the animals therefore stay on land, according to researchers.
Vrangeløya, off the coast of the Tsjukotka region in the northeast, is a place where polar bears rest after the ice melts between early August and November, as they can then leave to hunt for seals.
Gruzdev stated that the island is also considered a birthing place for the species, with the most frequent bear births throughout the Arctic.
‘A whale is a real gift for them. An adult whale weighs tens of thousands of tons, and makes food available for many bears for several months’, he said.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today