- More predatory than other bears (less omnivorous).
- Locate birth lairs and breathing holes of Ringed Seals by smell and sound.
- Approach slowly to minimize their own sound.
- May break into lair immediately or wait motionless for several hours for seal to return.
- Studies on polar bear hearing of bears raised in managed care indicate that “auditory cues play an important role” (Cushing et al 1988)
- Swim underwater to stalk seals lying at the edge of an ice floe.
- Hunting in summer months: 77% still-hunting, 23% stalking.
- Hunting in winter and early spring: almost all hunting is still-hunting (far more successful than stalking).
- Small size of major prey probably eliminates any advantage in group hunting
- Large numbers of bears scavenge together at a whale carcass or human garbage dump.
- Consume fat of prey first (to get the most calories quickly).
- Considerable competition between Polar Bears for a kill; larger bears will run off smaller bears.
- Wash and lick themselves while feeding; spend up to 15 minutes grooming afterward.
Source: San Diego Zoo wildlife Alliance Library
Manager’s Office Team