Filmmakers have discovered that some polar bears are seeking refuge from hunters on major icebergs, rather than on land as previously thought.
The discovery came amid the making of a new documentary from BBC2. Filmmakers said that more than 20 of the bears they observed had retreated to an iceberg during midsummer in order to hide from hunters.
The huge chunk of ice – the Peterman Iceberg – drifts in the sea between Canada and Greenland, some 50kms of the coast of Baffin Island. For the majority of the year, the animals roam the frozen surface of the sea around Canada’s Baffin Bay.
Speaking about the discovery, Chris Packham, the presenter of the BBC feature, said, “What’s there for them is security, and I think they are taking advantage of that. So I think they are living on this iceberg to stay safe, and just wait for the sea ice to come back in.”
Meanwhile, Dr Keith Nicholls from the British Antarctic Survey explained that the phenomenon may be the result of a new trend in the region’s geography: “In recent years we’ve been seeing a lot more big tabular icebergs come off the Greenland ice sheet and they’re now ending up in Baffin Bay.”