Polar bear (Ursus maritimus)
Great place to see the polar bear: Svalbard, Norway
A small creature of beauty not dwarfed at all by its vast habitat while evoking wonder in its beholders. When you are in the Arctic, watching a polar bear is a glorious experience almost sinful in its sublimity.
When you are rapt to your bones, it might be also break your heart to learn that this magnificent mammal is listed as a vulnerable species by the IUCN. Its many body characteristics are adapted for harshly-cold temperatures; for moving across snow, ice and open water; as well as for hunting seals, which constitute most of its diet. It is able to produce water through the metabolism of fats found in seal blubber.
The polar bear is an excellent swimmer and is known to often will swim for days! And it is the only living marine mammal with powerful, large limbs and feet that allow it to cover miles on foot and run on land. It is not territorial. It is cautious in confrontations, and often choose to escape rather than fight.
This marine mammal is the largest land carnivore on earth, and for this magic of its sheer presence, the polar bear is the Animal of the Week!
See this wonderful bear on our Arctic Expedition to Svalbard!