Last week, tourists and scientists aboard a Russian tourism ship were thrilled to see a dead whale—because where there are dead animals, there are also likely to be live animals. But the site they stumbled upon greatly exceeded any wildlife-watching tourist’s expectations.
From a distance, the dark grey hillside that the tour boat approached looked like it was covered in white, roaming sheep. The distant animals had been drawn to the spot by the remains of an enormous bowhead whale. But they weren’t sheep—they were polar bears. Hundreds of them.
The sight was incredibly unusual. Polar bears are typically solitary animals, traveling either by themselves or as a mother-cub unit. They don’t hunt in packs. But just like many tourists, they also apparently enjoy a free buffet.