Da Bears

polar bearsARCTIC OCEAN – Two polar bears walk across Arctic Ocean ice in search of food Aug. 19, 2009.

About 40 Coast Guard Cutter Healy crewmembers went to the bow of the ship to have a look at the first two bears that have been spotted on this leg of the Healy’s patrol.

“It was amazing to see a Polar Bear in its natural environment while it hunted a seal,” said Navy Petty Officer First Class Richard Lehmkuhl, a member of the science party onboard Healy. 

The bears spent roughly 20 minutes tracking a ringed seal, but were unable to catch it before it dove beneath the ice.

“The seals escape the majority of the time when bears come after them,” said Justin Pudenz, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration marine mammal observer onboard Healy.  “But when they do finally catch one, they can live off of it for about a week,” he said.

(U.S. Coast Guard photo illustration by Petty Officer Patrick Kelley)

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