A polar bear chases a reindeer into the water, drags it ashore and devours it, in a striking scene caught on video for the first time. With sea ice melting, the king of the Arctic may be changing its diet, experts.
According to AFP, the dramatic spectacle played out in Norway's Svalbard archipelago on August 21, 2020—in summer, the sea ice retreated and took with it the seals that make up the polar bear's main source of food. The video, captured by Polish researchers in August 2021 on the Svalbard archipelago, shows The climate crisis may be pushing polar bears to use new tactics to seek out unexpected food sources, including drowning reindeer.
Watch Video : Polar bear captured hunting reindeer (Courtesy : VoA)
Although polar bears are opportunistic hunters, this is the first time they have been 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.
According to researchers, retreating sea ice leaves bears stranded on land for longer periods. So, with fewer seals and a steadily rising reindeer population in Svalbard – it appears polar bears are being forced to change their eating habits.
The incident is being seen as one of a series of observations that suggest polar bears are increasingly preying on land-based animals to make up for their limited access to their normal diet. In Svalbard, just over 1,000 kilometres from the North Pole and where signposts warn of the danger of polar bears, some 300 sedentary bears live alongside around 20,000 reindeer.
There are now indications that polar bears have been hunting reindeer more frequently in recent decades.