Courting Polar Bears Help Out BBC Film Crew

If filming polar bears courting on the Arctic islands of Svalbard wasn’t made difficult enough by the blankets of ice and unrelenting snow, then cue your expensive spy camera tumbling over. However, fortunately for this BBC film crew, the four-legged stars of this show were on hand (or paw) to lend their much-needed assistance.

As seen in this short clip from the BBC’s Polar Bear: Spy on the Ice, two polar bears engaged in a clumsy ritual of romance put a “paws” (sorry) on their proceedings when coming across the collapsed ‘Blizzardcam’. The “state-of-the-art camouflaged” camera, powered by two propellers and mounted on a pair of miniature skis, takes an untimely fall when whizzing across the ice in search of those intimate shots.

Spying the incident from a distance, the polar bears set out to investigate. As the bears approach, narrator David Tennant states that “Blizzardcam is at the mercy of some very curious bears.” After a couple of curious circles, and a cursory sniff, one of the bears gives it a gentle paw, uprighting the helpless device.

Satisfied with their efforts the bears retreat, sharing what looks like a congratulatory kiss before ambling away for their three-week love affair. Finally, we’re left with a shot of the Blizzardcam skiing into the sunset, as if some strange robotic cupid.

Check out BBC Earth’s YouTube channel for more clips depicting the fascinating, obscure, and overall amazing natural world!



Ed Carr is a Yorkshire-born landscape photographer and nature writer. Having spent his youth in the North Yorkshire Moors National Park, he takes any opportunity to don his hiking boots and head out, camera in hand. When not out taking pictures or hastily scribbling down his thoughts, Ed’s halfway up a hill out chasing after his dog, Hendrix.