Wildlife photographer, Kyriakos Kaziras aboard an adventure cruise near Spitsbergen,Norway received some thrills when a polar bear approached and then attempted to board his ship cruising through the sea ice in the Arctic Ocean. His passion for capturing images of wildlife became slightly risky when this particular bear reached in through the grated port hole and swiped his paw at Kaziras. Quite the thrill. In my extensive time in Churchill I have experienced similar situations while attempting to photograph the wiley polar bears of the polar bear capital.It is thrilling and terrifying in the same moment!
It’s somewhat routine for polar bears to approach passenger ships in the area when they spot the large vessels from afar. They venture toward them to investigate and even smells from the ships may also draw the bears nearer. Most polar bears stay a safe distance from the slow moving ships however this one had no hesitancy at getting as close as possible.
For more than two hours this bruin attempted to find a way to get aboard the boat. At one point he climbed atop a large pressure ridge in the ice and was level with the open deck of the vessel. “Eventually the bear managed to climb on a small iceberg, and ended up next to us, at the same height. At that moment he could have easily jumped into the boat. It took all the experience of our captain and an emergency maneuver to get us out of this mess and away from the bear.” If the bear had found a way to board the ship the exciting adventure might have ended tragically for passengers or the bear!