​Day 7: Polar bears!

Murad Gazdiev
Murad Gazdiev, RT correspondent who has reported from a number of hot spots around the globe, including from the Syria-Turkish border, Yemen and Eastern Ukraine. He has also covered major international events, including Davos and the St. Petersburg economic forums, and even made a tour of duty with the crew of the Russian destroyer class Admiral Levchenko as it carried a military unit from the core base of Russia's Northern Fleet in Severomorsk to an unused former-Soviet base in the White Sea.
We did it – we managed to film THREE different polar bears running around a remote island we passed along Russia’s northern coast.

They were all initially frightened by the roar of the helicopter, but as polar bears do, they quickly forgot about it and stood staring at us.

Polar bears have no natural predators and are one of the few animals on the planet almost devoid of fear. As such, they tend to stray extremely close to people out of sheer interest and well…they’re animals after all.

Everybody aboad the ship has been given little brochures about how to deal with polar bears, with the instructions basically boiling down to run or sneak away to shelter.

It’s because of polar bears that everyone on Katelniy Island – our destination – must at all times be armed or under armed guard. But actually shooting a polar bear except in life-threatening situations is a very, very serious offense.

FUN FACTS: Polar bears weigh up to 1.5 tonnes (the combined weight of 20 adults), can sprint almost twice as fast as the average human and can jump a distance of up to 7 feet.

Frightening stuff.

We also managed to film a small group of Walruses((is that the right plural?)) on a each. They too became spooked by the helicopter:

Video: /files/opinionpost/2d/cd/40/00/2030893_walruses_480p.mp4

Wildlife aside - the naval group is continuing to climb the latitudes toward the North Pole – it’s getting colder by the day and it actually snowed heavily during the night.

The cold and wind are one thing on land, but at sea it’s cold, wind, sea spray and all of that while you’re moving at 20 kilometers per hour…not pleasant.

Time to dig out our arctic gear.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.