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Polar Bear Forges Unlikely Friendship With Pack of Sled Dogs [VIDEO]

We all know dogs are man’s best friend, but after watching this video you might believe that’s true for polar bears too.

Eskimo dog breeder Brian LaDoon keeps his “city” of 150 sled dogs on a stretch of land along the Hudson Bay in Manitoba, Canada. The remote land is an ideal habitat for his sled dogs, but it’s also home to one of North America’s largest predators: polar bears.

Back in the winter of 1992, LaDoon witnessed an encounter that he was sure would end with one of his sled dogs being eaten alive by a starving polar bear.

The large bear wandered onto LaDoon’s property and went straight for the dog cages. Petrified, LaDoon watched from his home’s window as the huge polar bear tore apart the cages one by one. But when the bear encounter the sled dogs face to face, something remarkable happened. The bear began to play with the dogs.

While hesitant at first, the dogs played along, and soon they were all having a great time. LaDoon took out his camera and captured some incredible images of the encounter.

This short video from the BBC has more about the remarkable story.

In the years following their first encounter, the polar bear would return each winter to visit and play with LaDoon’s dogs.

LaDoon did not shoot the polar bears that came near his dogs, because most of them were playful.

During the fall, when stray polar bears migrate along the bay, LaDoon discovered that the local dominate bears would actually defend his dogs against strange, non-playful bears.

LaDoon’s alliance with the bears ended in 1996, when local officials removed several of the local bears following an attack on his dogs by a strange bear.

You can read more about LaDoon’s story in this article by the North American Bear Center.

Featured image via YouTube/BBC Two

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Polar Bear Forges Unlikely Friendship With Pack of Sled Dogs [VIDEO]