Rare footage shows a polar bear hunt a swimming reindeer

The footage was shot by researchers in Svalbard in August 2021.

By Cover Media - November 17, 2021

Rare footage shot by a researcher expedition in Norway shows a polar bear hunting and catching a swimming adult reindeer.

The video, captured by Mateusz Gruszka, a cook for an expedition of Polish researchers in August 2021 on the Svalbard archipelago, shows the bear catching the reindeer and drowning it before dragging it ashore and eating it.

[Polar bears are ill-suited to live off food foraged from land, new research shows]

Although polar bears are opportunistic hunters, this is the first time they have filmed hunting reindeer. During her meal, the bear chased away scavengers, including polar foxes and birds before covering the remains with rocks and taking a 12-hour nap.

[Polar bears face extinction in Svalbard and Arctic Russia]

Irregularity in polar bear behavior has been explained by scientists as being in part due to climate change, with the Arctic sea ice retreating, bears often need to move beyond their traditional hunting grounds to find food.