February 27th is International Polar Bear Day. I always celebrate by checking out the latest and greatest research advances about these beautiful and dangerous creatures.
The BBC program Polar Bear: Spy on the Ice sends spy cameras to track polar bears. The documentary is light-weight, relying on interesting footage to tell the story, not cramming high-density research into entertainment. The year of filming was coincidentally one of the worst the recent past, stranding some bears on a barren island while others struggled to swim increasingly long distances in ice flows. Luckily, the tragedy of paternalistic cub-cannibalism is avoided.
The video that first captured my attention is the footage of curious and intelligent bears discovering and playfully destroying spy cameras; after that I had to watch the entire documentary. David Tennant’s teasing respect provides the perfect narrative tone for the playfully curious bears.
Go. Watch the documentary. You’ll enjoy it, and you’ll learn something new.
And if you crave yet more knowledge, you can always do a BBC double-header with QI for advice on how to escape a polar bear.