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Polar bear trek

Duration: 03:44

A female polar bear must find food for her cubs throughout the year, but as the ice on which she hunts begins to melt, it proves more and more difficult to find prey. She is forced to look for food on land. She and her cubs have to swim from the ice to the shore, but the chance of finding food in this barren is not great. It may be months before the polar bear family eats well again. Polar bears have an extraordinarily sensitive sense of smell and she can sense something promising. The faint smell is coming from a whale carcass miles away, but she's not the first to have detected it. Bear families seldom get on with one another and the newcomers are taking a risk by being here and attempting to share the prize. Male bears can and do kill small cubs, but to get a share in the food, she must decide whether to stand her ground against the challenges from other families. She keeps the cubs close to her and chooses to take the risk, and her courage wins the cubs a meal.

Available since: Fri 9 Dec 2011


David Attenborough
Martha Holmes
Executive Producer
Michael Gunton

This clip is from

Life Mammals

3/10 How mammals dominate the planet through having warm blood and by caring for their young.

First broadcast: 26 Oct 2009

Image for Mammals Not currently available on BBC iPlayer

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