Herbivorous​ bears

During our cruise at Kræmerpynten, we found four bears on the tiny spit of land. Three of them did what bears do in summer, sleep and rest to conserve energy, the other was near the shore and allowed us a closer look. We gave this bear, a male, a fat score of 2 (on a scale of 5), so he apparently was hungry. This also showed from his behaviour. He tried to squeeze some nutrients out of the kelp that washed ashore. Why bears do this, isn’t entirely sure. They definitely don’t have the digestive system they need to get many nutrients out of any plants. Maybe they manage to get a few vitamins from them, which they don’t get otherwise without food, or perhaps they just want to fill their stomach for a little while.

A thin, male Polar Bear

Hopefully, the ice will return quickly for these bears. In average years, the ice should start to return in October, but in recent years, it might be as late as January. For one of the bears of the island, which we gave a score of 4, this will likely be in time, but for the others…



Polar Bear feeding on Kelp


Arjen Drost

Arjen is a Polar ecologist, nature photographer and full time expedition guide on expedition cruise ships in both Polar regions. With his pictures and stories he likes to show the beauty of these very fragile and threatened places.

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