As unbelievable as it sounds, polar bears have been caught on camera feasting on white-beaked dolphins
These are the world’s first observations of polar bears eating dolphins, and they are even catching the fast-swimming mammals unassisted. White-beaked dolphins don’t tend to enter polar bear territory as it’s extremely far north, but those that have dared have met a sticky end.
A research team from the Norwegian Polar Institute witnessed a polar bear attack two dolphins that were surfacing to breathe in a hole in the ice. The polar bear dragged the carcasses out of the water and devoured one, but couldn’t manage a second. Making good use of the available ice, the bear buried the leftover dolphin meat in the snow to save for later.
This is not an isolated incident. In 2014 alone, five accounts arose of bears eating dolphins in Svalbard alone. They are opportunistic hunters and will feed on almost any mammal they come across. They are thought to attack dolphins in the same way that they hunt seals. Polar bears rarely hide their food, so this is an exciting event for Arctic researchers.