Watch Out for Polar Bears!
According to the local tour operators, the very best time to see polar bears is after the fall whaling season. Although it is possible to see them up here at the Point anytime of the year, October and November allow for the most likely viewing opportunities. In late May and early October, the Eskimo natives go Bowhead whaling. During whaling season there is an opportunity to photograph a whale being brought in on the beach and butchered. Whaling season tends to encourage the polar bears to feast on the remains that are left at Point Barrow.
cold and bears
I didn't get a chance to see any polar bears but I hear that they can get pretty dangerous when they come through town. Also, watch out for the cold, make sure you are dressed properly and mind the windchill.
Watch for Polar Bears
Polar Bears are the largest land carnivore on earth, and are the only bear which is known to stalk and hunt man. These giant bears spend most of their lives on the sea ice where their primary food is seals. However, here in the high Arctic it is possible to see a polar bear any time of day or any time of the year. Those who venture outside are advised to be on the lookout and to go indoors if a polar bear is sighted.
I didn't see a live polar bear on this trip, but was able to snap a shot of this one in the lobby of Top of the World Hotel. He was killed on the sea ice, 161 miles north of Barrow, about 30 years ago.
Dangers are real in Barrow. ...
Dangers are real in Barrow. The bitter, unforgiving weather can be a real hazard as well as the constant shifts of the pack ice. Polar bears do roam freely and locals do yield shotguns. But common sense, preparation, and education can reduce the risks immensely.
The borough has everything...
The borough has everything money can buy for a local government, yet the people of the villages still must contend with crushing ice, snooping polar bears, and utter isolation.
For 65 days in the winter, the sun never rises. In the summer, it doesn't set, and the ice recedes from the shore only for the months of the brief summer. Such extreme geography is a magnet--people want to stand in such a place, perhaps dip a toe in the Arctic Ocean.
If you are going to Barrow on...
If you are going to Barrow on your own, beware of the polar bear. They do attack people. The biggest polar bear has ever found was 12 feet tall and weigh......pounds. (I forget) Just imagine how big it is if it stood right in front of you.
Barrow is the land of the Polar Bear. To keep these huge bears out of town, whale carcasses from the hunt are dragged out to the point, about 9 miles from town , for the bears to feed off.
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