The crew of a Russian cargo ship got an unexpected and uninvited visitor last week. While underway off the coast of Svalbard in Norway, the Arctic Spirit was boarded by a very large and hungry polar bear, who came in search of food. The crew quickly scrambled onto the roof of the vessel to avoid the creature, who proceeded to make himself at home for awhile. The incident went on for some time—the Daily Star says hours—before the bear gave up its quest and left the ship behind.
The ship was carrying a cargo of fish at the time and apparently the passing polar bear could smell the latest catch. It then proceeded to climb up the side of the boat, which was moored at the time. Plastic buoys strung along the hull of the Arctic Spirit were used to scale the side of the ship, granting the bear access to the main deck, where it proceeded to attempt to find the fish it could smell. This sent the crew scurrying for safety, with most scrambling onto the roof of the upper decks to avoid their ursine visitor.
Video of the instance was posted to the vessel’s official Facebook page, drawing plenty of attention from curious viewers. The bear seems to make itself right at home onboard the vessel, seemingly nonplussed by the humans that were there and in no hurry to move on. Eventually, when it couldn’t find the food source that it was looking for, the creature did decide to leave the ship however, exiting the way it came over the side of the vessel and returning to the Arctic waters.
With the increasing loss of ice in the Arctic due to warming temperatures, polar bears now see their natural habitat shrinking. That has made it harder for them to find reliable food sources, which has in turn made them more bold in their search for finding things to eat. That has put them into contact more regularly with humans, which of course can be very dangerous. Thankfully in the case, no one was injured and the sailors aboard the Arctic Spirit gained a very cool story to share. Hopefully, future encounters will be equally safe for both the people involved and the bears.
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