3524 - Polar Bear
Churchill, Canada - 2005; The polar bear and the Kodiak bear share the title of being the largest of terrestrial carnivores; with adult male polar bears weighting in at up to 1,500 pounds and reaching a soaring height of nearly 10 feet. The polar bear is often regarded as a marine mammal because it spends many months of the year at sea. At Churchill, Canada in early November, thousands of polar bears can be seen on the peninsula awaiting the shallow Hudson Bay to freeze. When the bay freezes, polar bears go out on the ice to hunt for ringed seals – their primary food source. The polar bear's claws are short and stocky which allow them to grasp the seals when they surface in holes to breathe or when they heave out on the ice to rest. Polar bears have an amazing sense of smell, being able to detect seals nearly a mile away and buried under 3 feet of snow or ice.