Two polar bears, apparently a mother and her cub, spent the weekend circling a family’s cabin on Svalbard, while the family was inside. Plans for an outdoor barbecue on Saturday evening had to be cancelled.
“When they were closest, they were right under our window,” Helene Renate Hvedding, who has lived on Svalbard for 16 years, told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). She has seen polar bears several times and was prepared that they might attack, but they never did.
“It’s just as exciting and fun to see them every time,” Hvedding said. “As long as they were calm and we were calm, and we saw that they didn’t try to come inside, we figured it would go well. If they try to come in, they generally break a window or just rip away the wooden panels and go right through the wall.”
In which case, Hvedding and her family were armed and also were ready to make a lot of noise in the hopes of simply scaring off the bears, which had already tipped over and scrounged through the hytte’s outdoor garbage can. “Polar bears can smell the aroma from a can of food through the wall,” Hvedding said, adding that she thought the mother bear looked thin and hungry. “The cub was in good shape, and probably is still getting milk from the mother.”
Hvedding’s only complaint was about her family’s own two dogs. “They haven’t reacted to the bears outside at all,” she told NRK Sunday afternoon while still inside the cabin. “They’re just lying here and snoring.”
To see Hvedding’s video and photos, click here (external link, to NRK).