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Polar Bears - Ursus maritimus - Baby Polar Bear - Pictures

POLAR BEARS are one species of bear that you definitely will not find in Yellowstone National Park! The POLAR BEAR can be found primarily in the Polar Bearscold arctic regions of the North Pole. Like the famed Grizzly Bear, the Polar Bear is huge! In some cases these bears have been documented weighing over 1600 pounds! Despite the Polar Bears extreme size, it is an incredibly fast and powerful bear! Polar Bears have been known to not only outrun deer on land for the 1st hundred or so feet; but can also cross vast distances of extremely cold open water well over 80 miles in a single swim. This amazing animal also has the ability to dive deep under the floating ice packs; only coming up periodically to take a breath through an opened “Seal Hole”.

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Polar BearUnlike the majority of cold weather bears, the Polar Bear does not habitually hibernate for long periods of time. In fact, they rarely hibernate at all with the exception of pregnant females, which conceive on average every 2-5 years. Once these females come out of their hibernation, they will often construct dens to give birth in. These “Polar Bear Dens” are usually built in the snow and have been known to get pretty elaborate. In most cases, the den is simple with one long main tunnel leading to an oval birthing chamber. In some cases however, female Polar Bears have been know to build these dens with extra tunnels and rooms (chambers).

Baby Polar BearsBaby Polar Bears are born weighing less then 700 grams. The Polar Bear Gestation Period varies considerably between 190 & 260 days. This variable gestation period is due to something called “Delayed Implantation”. What this means is, the female may not actually become fertilized at the moment of copulation. Instead, she may store the male’s sperm inside her and keep it viable until suitable conditions in her body and surrounding habitat are ideal. Some species of turtle, like the North American Box Turtle (which is really a tortoise), utilize “Delayed Implantation”. In fact, there are documented cases of female Box Turtles / Tortoises actually laying fertile viable eggs 7 years after mating with a male. Nature is just so amazing!

The Baby Polar Bears are born blind with very little fur. A typical litter of Polar Bear Cubs is two, but as many as 5 baby bears have been recorded to one female. Unfortunately, all five babies did not survive which is not uncommon depending on the harshness of the season and abundance of prey. The Baby Polar Bears do not emerge from their den until they weigh at least 18 pounds. They will leave their mother after they are about 2.5 years of age and will not become sexually mature until the age of at least 5. Polar Bears have been documented living over 25 years in both the wild and in captivity. I believe the record captive Polar Bear had a recorded life span of 37 + years!

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Wild Polar Bears feed on a wide range of items. Although Polar Bears act primarily as a carnivore, like most bears they are also omnivorous by nature and are opportunistic feeders. The Polar Bears all time favorite food is unmistakably the Ringed Seal. Polar Bears just love the flesh and high calorie blubber of these marine mammals. The bears will often hang out for hours at the openings of “Seal Holes”, waiting to ambush any returning seals. Polar Bears are extremely crafty and patient hunters. They have very little fear and have even been filmed killing Stranded Beluga Whales. On rare occasions, isolated Beluga Whales get trapped under the vast sheets of floating ice packs. They are forced to come up for air in any remaining “Seal Holes” in the ice that they can locate. When this rare event happens, the Polar Bears take full advantage of it! Groups of Polar Bears will often surround the exhausted Beluga Whales. As they come up to take a breath they are attacked with claws and teeth until they die. Total bummer for the whale, total feast for the bear! A classic example of survival of the fittest in nature!

Now David and I have never worked with this amazing animal in captivity. We both admire it as we do all living creatures. Like everything else, the Polar Bear deserves protection. Please help us instill an interest in wildlife protection in others by passing on our site to your friends and family, or even better via a LINK. We hope you take the time to “watch and learn”, from the Sanctuary’s “EDUCATIONAL CENTER” and our Internationally renowned 30 + ANIMAL WEB CAMS placed inside the large naturalistic habitats of the Sanctuary’s Siberian Tigers, Bengal Tigers, African Lions, WHITE TIGERS, Ruffed Lemurs, and Ring Tail Lemurs. Remember, you can take “SNAP SHOTS” directly through the WEB CAMS to upload into our “GALLERY”, even having a chance to win our monthly “PHOTO CONTEST”!

 


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