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'That time Barnaul was undoubtedly the most cultural corner of Siberia. I named it Siberian Athens'
Pyotr Tyan-Shanskiy, 1856

Lunch arrives on Wrangel Island, and 230 polar bears show up for the feast

By The Siberian Times reporter
29 September 2017

A bowhead whale beached on the remote outpost in the Arctic Ocean, and the news spread fast among the island's bears.

Just like a flock of sheep, more than 200 bears gather for a feast on the Wrangel Island. Picture: A Gruzdev

From a distance to tourists on passing ship Akademik Shokalskiy, it looked like a flock of sheep, but it soon became evident these were ravenous polar bears feasting on an unexpected meal. 

Nature reserve rangers on the remote island calculated there were no less than 230 polar bears arriving to devour the food. 

They included single males, single females, mothers with cubs and and even two mothers with four cubs each.

The sight was un unexpected bonanza for tourists on the Finnish-built vessel on part of an epic Arctic voyage from Murmansk to Adadyr in Chukotka.

Lunch arrives on Wrangel Island, and 230 polar bears show up for the feast


Lunch arrives on Wrangel Island, and 230 polar bears show up for the feast


Lunch arrives on Wrangel Island, and 230 polar bears show up for the feast
Information on this unique gathering has been passed to the international scientific group that monitors Chukotka and Alaska's population of polar bears. Picture: A Gruzdev


The group had made a layover on the island, famous as the last place on the planet inhabited by the extinct woolly mammoth. 

Information on this unique gathering has been passed to the international scientific group that monitors Chukotka and Alaska's population of polar bears.

Members of the group and staff of the Wrangel island nature reserve continue observations of this unusual polar bear conclave. 

The island lies in the Arctic Ocean between the Chukchi Sea and East Siberian Sea.

Members of the group and staff of the Wrangel island nature reserve continue observations of this unusual polar bear conclave.

Pictures below: The Wrangel Island Nature Reserve

Lunch arrives on Wrangel Island, and 230 polar bears show up for the feast


Lunch arrives on Wrangel Island, and 230 polar bears show up for the feast


Lunch arrives on Wrangel Island, and 230 polar bears show up for the feast

Comments (27)

Wow! Never have seen one Polar Bear, let alone 230 of them. What kind of expedition? Can I have more information so I may try to make it while I still young enough and healthy enough. Thx.
Shi lin yeh, Sugar land, Texas, USA
05/10/2017 16:54
1
1
I was there on that incredible expedition and it was a truly remarkable experience and so humbling to witness and learn about these magnificent Polar Bears from the Rangers and Guides on our Expedition ship.

I have more photos and video of this Polar Bear feeding off a whale carcass at this link... https://juliestephenson.net/journal/
julie stephenson, Australia
05/10/2017 11:01
5
0
GUYS ITS A AMAZING SING FROM THOSE BEAUTIFUL HUMANS,THINK ABOUT THEY LIFE AND UR CONECTION WIT THEY...??! CAUSE IF U NOT EVEN KNOW,U REPRESENT THEY...THEY BEING ALWAYS PAYING ATTENTION TO US AND CONECT WIT...PLEASE...!!! CARE AND LIKE U KNOW,THERE IS NOT MANY PROUD PEOPLE,THERE IS MANY CRUIZE...CARE ABOUT THE PROUD PEOPLE WHO BEING KEEP THEY OWN BLOOD,AND LOOK FOR,AND EDUCATE THEY ABOUT THE BIG THING THEY REPRESENT ON THIS WORLD,AMAZING HUMANS LIKE THE POLAR BEARS... AND NOT I BEALIVE ITS FRENCH OR RUSSIANS WHO REPRESENT IT. ANY DESTROYERS...??? U GUYS HAVE MY RIGHT HAND 2 HELP AND LOOK TO...BUT LET ME KNOW AND HELP ME 2 GET IN THERE.
HECTOR RODRIGUEZ, MEXICO,M
04/10/2017 02:03
0
1
Had great experiences with polar bears. They are most certainly not aggressive. Very peaceful creatures that can be approached by anyone who knows how to behave. I remember only one bear aggression incident. In 1999 a colleague of mine was attacked when putting out the garbage. He was however a very strong guy. Over 6.5 feet tall and strong as an ox. He just knocked the bear unconscious and dragged it some yards away from our weather station. Yet he still has a 5 inch scar on his left thy.
Benjamin Adamah, Amsterdam The Netherlands
03/10/2017 23:23
1
10
I couldn't help but think of Ada Blackjack.
Leon Boardway, Nome. Alaska
03/10/2017 14:58
2
0
Truly amazing. 3 years ago I traveled with Rodney and Heritage from Anadyr to Wrangel Island. For him to be excited at such a scene is a moment to savior. In all that time (which included a 7km walk on island) we only saw about 5 Polars (one on the island I disturbed - even that was amazing). The Russian Polar Bear expert with us (now around 30 summers researching their habitat etc on the island) was very worried at the decrease in numbers due to lack of summer ice flow and thus food. So for this number to appear at one time over summer on land is perplexing - perhaps Rodney you might like to explain the reason, I for one would be most interested. I also trust your first navigation from west to east was a success
David Holland, New Zealand
03/10/2017 10:50
0
1
New Columbia Land was annexed by the US Government on 12 August 1881 by sua sponte order of Calvin Hooper to Wm E. Reynolds USRM of the ship CORWIN. On 29 July 1901 the name was set as Wrangell Island
by the United States Board of Geographic Names. On 17 May 1884, Wrangell Island entered the District of Alaska
on a document signed by Ezra W. Clark of the US Department of the Treasury. The Clark River on Wrangell Island
was named in Major Clark's honor who was an attorney at the board at Treasury responsible for all issues related to Alaska. It was on 20 August 1924 that a Soviet ship kidnapped 14 people from Wrangell Island.
Mark Seidenberg, Los Angeles/ USA
03/10/2017 10:19
0
2
Those bears get something like 3/4 of their food in the spring, chowing down on fat baby seals. Once the ice is gone it is harder to hunt seals and they usually eat little. This is is a windfall and bonanza. See: https://polarbearscience.com/
Caleb Shaw, New Ipswich, NH
03/10/2017 04:04
0
0
By using their noses the polar bears don't need the Internet to learn about this easy meal. I wonder if humans could stand anywhere near that odor? Not with the bears present of course.

Joe, Va. Mn. USA
03/10/2017 02:44
0
0
Polar Bears have multiplied about fourfold since hunting was restricted. They are not under threat from non-existent AGW.... Brett
.Brett Keane, Ruawai; New Zealand
02/10/2017 05:08
11
15
Hi there,
Expedition cruise company Heritage Expeditions operated this expedition from Murmansk to Anadyr aboard the Akademik Shokalskiy. Expedition leader Rodney Russ has been leading expeditions for 30 years and he said 'today has been one of those days I, or anybody else with me, will never, ever forget. You had to live it to believe it, even now there are people pinching themselves to make sure it really happened". For more information see heritage-expeditions.com
Cassia, New Zealand
02/10/2017 03:42
5
1
Fortunate timing for the bears - they need to eat a lot before going into hibernation.
Rhoda R., Crestview Fl USA
02/10/2017 03:24
2
5
Oho! Onko Venäjällä noin suuri jääkarhupopulaatio?
Mikko Laiho, Kokemäki, Suomi
02/10/2017 00:55
1
0
thank you for the lovely pictures
Linette, Serpent River Ontario
02/10/2017 00:28
2
0
Wow! Sows with four cubs! Shows a healthy population that is getting plenty of food, otherwise they would one or two due to the amount of food there is. Nature has a way and always has that tells us a correct story.
Christine Crawford, Sterling Alaska
02/10/2017 00:25
10
3
12

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