Polar bears have been observed stalking and killing white-beaked dolphins for the first time ever.
Scientist Jon Aars and his colleagues witnessed polar bears devouring white-beaked dolphins in late April, 2014 on a small fjord in Svalbard, Norway.
Their study records the first instance of polar bears using white-beaked dolphins as a food source.
These same white-beaked dolphins are known to visit the waters off Svalbard in the summer, but are not generally seen so far north in the early part of spring. The scientists suggest that the dolphins “were trapped in the ice after strong northerly winds the days before, and possibly killed when forced to surface for air at a small opening in the ice”
The opportunistic bear, pictured here, managed to catch and eat two dolphins, most likely using the same stalk and grab method to capture seals. With one dolphin down, however, the bear was seen deliberately covering the other in fresh snow perhaps for a meal at a later date.
Though scientists have indeed seen other carcasses in the same area, this is the first known sighting of polar bears actually killing these dolphins suggesting that they were from the same pod that was trapped in the ice that April.