Yes they probably do! The rapid change in climate has caused the Arctic’s sea ice to melt at an increasing pace. The melting of ice in turn brings polar bears and humans closer ever than before. Over the past few decades several polar bear attacks on humans have been reported and they are likely to rise in future. It occurs because bears are now adapting to hunt on land as they cannot survive the summer months without food. Let’s see why do polar bears eat people.
Do Polar Bears Attack Humans?
That said, polar bears are less likely to look at humans as a potential food source but they are more inclined to see humans as a threat. They do not actively pursue humans just like they hunt seals or other animals. Polar bears never eat humans. It just happens that sometimes humans’ camps near the polar bear’s habitat and the bear smells their presence and attack them. It’s not wrong to assume that polar bears are curious animals. Their increased curiosity (alongside hunger) brings them close to humans.
Polar bears will attack humans when bears feel threatened by the human presence. It happens when humans get close to the bear’s habitat. Polar bears might maul if they are hungry or when the mother bear is with her cubs. She will not tolerate any suspected predator near her cubs.
Do Polar Bears Attack Humans? – Video showing a BBC cameraman is inside the cube and he’s attacked by a female polar bear but a hungry one.
Polar Bear Attacks on Humans
1.) On December 8, 1990 a polar bear attacked 28-year-old Carl Stalker who was walking with her girlfriend in Point Lay, Alaska. The bear killed Carl and started eating him. Authorities killed the bear immediately at the same place where the Carl died.
2.) On July 9, 1999 a male polar bear attacked two people on the Hudson Bay camp but fortunately both of them survived with major injuries. One of the adult females Hattie Amitnak (age 64) attempted to distract the animal and the bear charged for her. However she escaped. Hattie was later awarded with the posthumous medal for her bravery.
3.) In the year 2010 a polar bear attacked one of the explorers at his camp in Svalbard, Norway. The arctic’s apex predator pulled the 22-year-old Sebastian Nilssen from his camp and dragged him 130 feet along the ice. The other camper Fjeld shot the bear and the Nilssen’s life was saved. He suffered major injuries on his chest and head.
4.) In 2009 a captive polar bear attacked a woman who tried to swim inside the bear’s enclosure. The attack was understandably expected since woman was neither a zookeeper nor did she possess any special skills to handle polar bears. She just jumped into the enclosure for fun. The incident occurred in the Berlin zoo and the woman was pulled back in time. The bear bit many times on the woman’s legs and back. However, she managed to get away and was rushed to the hospital for treatment.
5.) In March 2016, a woman was feeding chicken bones to a polar bear in Cape Schmidt in Chukotka, east Russia. The polar bear attacked her but her husband stood nearby and he did something no one has ever imagined. He threw his dog at the polar bear to save his wife’s life—probably one of the worst things you’d ever expect. Nonetheless, the woman managed to get away with some bruises but no serious injuries reported. However we do not know what might have happened to the dog one that was thrown at a bear.