See the world through their eyes.

From cub to parent, the polar bear lives an extraordinary life that’s uniquely adapted to the frigid Arctic sea ice.

Meet Polar Bear Cubs

Totally dependent on their moms, newborns are 30-35 centimeters long (12 to 14 in) and weigh little more than half a kilogram (1 lb). They’re blind, toothless, and covered with short, soft fur.

Polar bear on ice image

Growing Up in the Wild

Cubs generally stay with their mother for up to 2 1/2 years, learning how to hunt, feed, swim, and survive.

Polar bear coming out of the ice image

Wandering the Frozen Ocean

Sea ice is as important to the Arctic ecosystem as soil is to a forest. Polar bears rely on sea ice to hunt, mate, travel, and sometimes den.

Seal popping its head out of the ice image

Fat Is Where It’s At

Calorie-rich ringed and bearded seals are the polar bear’s main prey, which they catch from the surface of the sea ice.

Are Polar Bears at Risk?

The main threat polar bears face is sea ice loss from climate warming. The bears are listed under a variety of classifications, depending on international, national, and regional regulations. Internationally, they are listed as a vulnerable species by the IUCN. However, in Canada, the U.S. and Russia, they have more specific classifications.

What Are Threats to Polar Bears?

Nearby community in the Arctic image

Living with Polar Bears

Polar bears play an important role in Indigenous Arctic cultures, and have done so for thousands of years. Today, many communities and Indigenous peoples co-exist with polar bears across the North, both on the Land and on the sea ice.

Follow the Polar Bear Journey