These arctic explorers were surprised by a visit from polar bears during breakfast

The Arctic is home to a wide variety of unusual species, but very few people get the chance to meet them in person. At a research station on Svalbard, meteorologist Katarzyna Kudłacz was making scrambled eggs for breakfast in late March when she glanced up and saw three unannounced visitors.

As soon as the meteorologist noticed the mother polar bear and her two kids pressing their noses against the window of the Polish research station at Hornsund, located in the southern Norwegian archipelago, she quickly informed her colleagues of her shock and amazement.

Among the images from the near encounter is a bear resting its paw on a window, with a set of board games visible in the background.
These critters are familiar to Kudłacz and her colleagues researchers at the Polish Polar Station Hornsund because they are common in the area. However, researchers are cautious to maintain a safe distance from the creatures because they are wild. Bears approaching the station’s windows is a very unusual occurrence, which caught Kudłacz and her colleagues off guard. Thankfully, they used noisemakers to gently disperse the bear family—a mother and two cubs—from their location.

With the comment, “We didn’t need coffee to wake us up this morning,” the research station shared photographs and a video of their meeting on Facebook. Regarding Kudłacz, her encounter with the inquisitive bears is one she is not going to forget any time soon. “It was an absolutely amazing experience,” remarks the meteorologist. “However, it can also be difficult.”

According to Daniel Kępski, the 46th Polish arctic expedition leader, polar bears were frequently spotted, but they seldom paused to take a peek inside the research station. “Seeing them so close that day was incredible, but it was also a little nerve-wracking.”

He went on to say that the team had witnessed an unusually high number of polar bears this year. The annual average for bear sightings was about 20, but there had been about 40 so far this year as of June, and they anticipated even more in the last three months.

Talking with our team, Daniel Kępski, Who is the Leader of the 46th Polish Polar Expedition said, “There is always one person on duty at our station. This person prepares meals for the others and watches over the station. On the morning of 27th March, Katarzyna Kudłacz, who works here as a meteorologist, was on duty. She was preparing breakfast when she noticed bears in the window. It was around 7 am. We see quite a lot of polar bears here, but they rarely come this close to the station. Katarzyna alarmed the others and started taking photos with her smartphone because there was no time to grab a decent camera. When the others woke up, we started making noise to scare the bears away and luckily, we only had to fire one noise flare into the air with the signal pistol to make them run away. We have guns with live ammunition here due to protect against polar bears but we always first try to scare them away. These bears were not aggressive, they just looked curious.”

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