In our last posting from Jeff and Kathy Klofft, we have some of Jeff’s remarkable photos of a polar bear family trying to escape safely from a energized male polar bear hoping to get to mom to mate or possibly at the cubs for some sustenance. These interactions are fairly rare but pretty exciting when witnessed by travelers. You can see more of the Klofft’s adventures on their blog site Go See It Travel!
“We watched the sleepy family for a little while and then noticed a large male making his way towards their direction.”
Our guides explained that a male polar bear can try to separate the mother from her cubs in order to mate with her. The cubs will surely not survive on their own without their mother, and their survival depends on her staying away from the big male. Unfortunately, she and the cubs were sleeping soundly as the male approached closer and closer, and all of us held our breath in dread of what we might see if he surprised them before they could hustle away.
Finally, as we all silently willed the mother bear to wake up and move on, she was up on her feet and she and her cubs were on the move even faster than Jeff’s rapid camera could catch it!
“So once she started to move, she and her cubs MOVED! Some in our group actually were able to hear her hiss at the big male. They ran towards our Polar Rover at top speed until she was right behind our viewing platform.”
“Directly behind us, the female stopped to see where the big male was, and found him to be plodding along in her direction, so although she slowed her speed, she and her cubs continued moving off away from the larger bear.”
The big male moved more slowly but quite deliberately in her direction, stopping along the way to sniff where she and the cubs had been.