Polar bears can walk across very thin ice and not fall through. They can be over 1000 pounds, so how is this possible? They are masters of weight distribution!
Polar bears have very large feet that help divide body weight up across the ice. Additionally, polar bears can feel when the ice is thin and will spread their legs out to further distribute their weight. They end up walking in a starfish shuffle! Even though polar bears are great swimmers, it costs them energy to dry off in the winter. They prefer to conserve energy, especially at this time of year, and we often see polar bears trying to avoid getting wet!
As the temperatures have dropped in Churchill, the ponds have been freezing over and the bears have been testing the strength of the ice. One polar bear was caught on camera trying to avoid wet paws, a pretty neat thing to see!