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herbert
post Sep 14 2005, 07:58 PM
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hey Ute, about your polar bear facts, is it possible that polar bears travel in packs, this question has been fustering me for couple years since me and a couple friends went out to the point of barrow with four wheelers, as we were getting out there, we saw nothing but a white coat of what looked like to us was ice or snow covering the way out to the point, we headed closer and finally found out that there was nothing but polar bears all over the place, i counted well over 30 bears, the weight, length, and size varied. I'm just wondering if that was all a mishap or if they usual do this huh.gif
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Ute_Kaden
post Sep 16 2005, 05:35 PM
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Beth Healy is our mammal observer. She is answering your question Herbert

Ute

If this was Herberts's question, it's a great one. Especially since he saw so many polar bears in one area.
Contrary to what Ben witnessed, polar bears are considered to be solitary. The exceptions are:
1. female-cub groups (a female usually births two or three cubs)
2. polar bears attracted to an abundant food source.
So, in general, polar bears do not travel in packs.
A female will allow her cubs to stay and travel with her for up to three years.
No doubt, all the bears that Ben saw were there for food. The folks in Barrow have been "dumping" whale carcasses at the point for years, with the intent to keep the bears interested in just one area outside of town. Thirty in a small area is exceptionally high - although Yngve swears that he counted 56 within 2 square km of a whale carcass. Polar bears are very competitive for food, if there had not been an ample source of food where Ben saw all the polar bears, he would have seen some serious fighting. Because polar bears do not really socialize among themselves, I would not consider the polar bears that are travelling to the same food source a "pack".

I hope this helps!
Beth
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