Polar Bear Blog – Open Water Seal Hunting

The BBC Spy On Ice series is still one of the best polar bear docs… very cool footage of ‘late season’ seal hunting. After ‘pupping season’ is over the ice is really starting to fragment, open water hunting or aquatic stalking are pretty common techniques, albeit less effective.

The latest sea ice chart was released today and I would say we’ve hit that 30% usable ice pack barrier that signals the bears return to land. I would say a good percentage of Hudson Bay’s polar bears are either already ashore or leaving the ice pack this week. It was a pretty interesting ice season for sure, going from near-record levels in early June to below average ice in July… again, its another year that can fit pretty easily into an argument for or against climate change. Fun!

Regardless, seal hunting is pretty sparse right now – whelping and the moult are done and most seals are back in the water, pretty tough to catch unless they are sleeping. Although I did come across a story about how the Greenland Shark, the world’s slowest swimming shark, successfully stalks seals while they are napping… so you never know, I am sure some polar bear somewhere has figured this out as well.

That’s about it.

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