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Polar Bear Playing with Husky

Picture this: Hunter-trapper Brian LaDoon was taking care of his pack of Husky dogs on a Canadian tundra and German photographer Norbert Rosing was setting up his cameras, when out of nowhere a large polar bear walked up to one of the dogs.

Brian knew that the bear had not eaten for months, and thought it was "curtains" for the dog when something completely unexpected happened: the polar bear and the dog started playing with each other!

Here's a fantastic audio slideshow (lots of neat pics) given by Stuart Brown about the encounter: http://speakingoffaith.publicradio.org/programs/play/audiogallery/soundseen.shtml - Thanks Jennie!


I bet it's a pretty young polar bear still used to playing with his siblings. the pictures are still interesting though because polar bears are known to be solitary creatures.

Four legs good, Four fins bad! :)
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How do they know the bear didn't eat for four months? This makes no sense, a 1200 lb animal needs to eat. What instinct possibly explains this? Even my pubescent dog would end up humping me in the middle of play, as he got excited and his doggy sexstincts took over. You're telling me a starving bear in the middle of a 'play' bite wouldn't face an even greater compulsion?

And how would something that size even know how to play with something so much smaller? When Siegfried and Roy's white tiger tried to treat Roy like a vulnerable pup it ended up almost biting his head off. A bear can't treat a dog like a sibling.

My crackpot theory is the global warming folks are trying to garner sympathy for the endangered bear by staging irresistible cuddle stunts.

The whole blood stained soulless predator image wasn't working.
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They're both gay.

Inane joke aside, the "lonely" comments made by other people on this deal are, in my perception, probably fairly accurate. The social ranking system of dogs, and what not. The Husky might be low in rank, or a reject. The polar bear may have sensed it's non-aggressiveness and smelled no threatening pharemones or whatever and figured the dog would be a friendly playmate. The dog, perceiving no threat from the polar bear for the same reasons, did not feel under threat. Sort of like two latent gays in a public restroom. Sometimes it just happens. And the body language and what not. See?
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The following video shows not just one polar bear, but several, playing with huskies: http://blip.tv/file/443387

So, it doesn't appear to be an isolated event. There are also reports of young grizzly bears and wolves playing with each other, and even hunting together. Though the grizzly usually runs off the wolves when it comes down to which gets the kill.
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