Documentary makers discover polar bear sanctuary in the Arctic

Documentary makers discover polar bear sanctuary in the ArcticAFP/Getty

A team of BBC2 documentary makers has discovered a previously unknown polar bear sanctuary in the Arctic, which is home to an estimated 20 bears.

For most of the year polar bears live on the frozen sea water, where they hunt seals.

But the Peterman Iceberg in Baffin Bay, which is around 50km off the Canadian coast, is home to the bears during the summer months, when the sea ice melts. At this time of year, most other bears return to land.

During the filming of BBC2's Operation Iceberg, it became clear that some bears prefer to spend winter on the iceberg, where they are safe from human hunters.

Presenter Chris Packham told BBC News: "What's there for them is security, and I think they are taking advantage of that. So I think they are living on the iceberg to stay safe, and just wait for the sea ice to come back in."

Operation Iceberg is on Thursday, November 1 at 9pm on BBC2.

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