Planet Gore

Record Polar-Bear Count in Kaktovik, Alaska

It seems the furry critters like themselves some rotting whale meat:

When hunters from the Arctic Alaska community of Kaktovik bagged a bowhead whale in early September, it wasn’t just the community’s villagers — who rely on the meat to help them get through the cruel winter months — who rejoiced. Equally pleased were the polar bears that congregate in the community, feasting on scraps of the whale carcass, gorging themselves on whatever bits were left by villagers.

The remains of that whale drew a record number of polar bears to the area on Sept. 13, when researchers, who closely monitor the fluctuating polar bear populations in and around the community, counted 80 bears in a single day. The previous record came in 2004, when 65 were seen in a single day.

Odd at how hungry polar bears keep figuring out ways to feed themselves and not die. It’s almost as if hunger has an evolutionary component that helps bears survive. Someone should look into that maybe.

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