“A Bear Plunging Into the Sea” [Sir John Ross]

At three o-clock, when it was near the top of high water, we weathered the field-ice and bore up in order to force a passage through a stream which appeared to run between it and a large floe to the eastward. We soon passed very near to a large iceberg, on which were a large bird, of the falcon kind, and a bear; the former immediately flew away, but the latter, after looking at us for some time, climbed to the top, apparently with the intention of jumping into the sea from it, but, on finding it was too high, he descended, and when at a short distance from the lower edge, he plunged into the sea (see the engraving); several shots were fired at him, but the distance was too great for the balls to take effect, and he escaped. [Ross, p. 208.]

[2003 photo of polar bear on ice in Beaufort Sea]     [2003 photo of polar bear swimming in Barrow Strait]