"Odyssey in the Arctic with Russian Icebreaker Fleet"
Her photos taken on board of icebreaker "Vaigach" show what it "means to follow along the caravan of ships in the northern seas, led by a colossal nuclear-powered vessel."
"The nuclear-powered icebreakers served as a symbol of Soviet technological power for many decades. Today this fleet is used to aid ship navigation in the seas north of Siberia - and for elite tourism, which helps to pay the bills.
The most powerful of all icebreakers "50 years of Victory" (one of six "Arktika" class) has two nuclear reactors and is capable of reaching North Pole in a couple of days", starting from Murmansk. However, we will not stick to the icebreakers but will go straight to the bears. As their traces can be found on such an odyssey too...
And by day....
"Polar bears lead a pretty eventful life: from their "romantic" courtship...... to the intense family quarrels...
However,......if they spot a passing ship.......they will drop everythingAnd try to get closer...... knowing exactly what they want.Bears just wanna have milk...!
They try to stretch their meal: one can will keep a bear occupied for up to 3 hours. After they lick the can clean, they start to chew on it, like some sort of chewing gum - to get that last whiff of flavor.
Finally... Sleeping with a full tummy...By the way, it is the same brand of milk which was fed to the bears decades ago, the one with the blue label...
"It’s a can of so-called “condensed milk“, a viscous white substance made by dehydrating milk and mixing it with sugar. Condensed milk is popular here in
Apparently, bears like it just as much as humans do."
Interesting too: while checking out various material about North Pole Cruising I did not find a single indication about bears being fed likewise... Seems to me that just a few people know about that old tradition!
But let me ask one question: How come that the Russians have started to feed the polar bears with condensed milk in such a carefree way as they have usually been considered as a danger to polar stations and were killed as soon as they approached settlements? (see here although it is not about Chukotka)
I'd just like to find out...
-Russian Nuclear Icebreakers to the North Pole/March 2008
-Russian Atomic Icebreakers/article using the same source 31.03.2008
-Belikov/Garner:POLAR BEARS OF THE SEVERNAYA ZEMLYA ARCHIPELAGO OF THE RUSSIAN ARCTIC/pdf
Related posting: Kondensmilch ist das Geheimnis...Condensed Milk is the Secret Part 1
Photo credits: Svetlana Bogdanovitch, some additional photos I found in an album under the name of HEYRO which I believe are also taken by Svetlana Bogdanovitch as this link opened after clicking her name in the article. Beside the albums " Polar bears & other animals" and "Icebreakers" -including the photos from the article-, you can find a couple of other interesting sets. More about the Northern Sea Route you can find here in English - mehr zur Nordostpassage hier.