Image of polar bears by NOAA

Six facts about polar bears


Polar bears are some of the most iconic bears, with their likeness featured on everything from winter decorations to Bundaberg Rum ads. But how much do you know about the largest land carnivore in the world? Read on to learn more about the polar bear.

1. Where do polar bears live?

Polar bears have perfectly adapted to life in the frigid Artic environment. They can be found across parts of in parts of Canada, Alaska, Russia, Greenland and Norway. Polar bears have dense fur and a thick layer of fat to keep them warm, as well as small bumps under their paws to stop them from slipping on the ice.

2. Polar bears are strong swimmers.

They’re the only bears considered marine mammals. Their water-repellent fur insulates them from the cold air and water. However, they are also fast on land with a top of 40 kilometres per hour. 

3. What do polar bears eat? 

Polar bears are the largest land carnivores in the world. They can spend up to 50% of their time hunting for food - mainly seals.

4. Climate change is making it harder for polar bears to hunt.

Polar bears hunt seals through ice, and as the world’s ice melts, it’s more difficult for them to hunt. As a result, polar bears populations are listed as vulnerable, with around 22,000 polar bears left in the wild. 

5. How big are polar bears? 

They are also the largest bear species on Earth. Male polar bears can stand three metres tall on their hind legs. Imagine seeing a bear that big the wild! 

6. Polar bears spend their time alone.

Except for when a mother is raising her cubs, that is.

Header image thanks to NOAA

The best place to see polar bears is in their natural habitat - where they belong.

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