Challenging Journey (04:39)
Gordon Buchanan boats to Edge Island, aspiring to get close to Polar Bears; typically he would snowmobile in, but record little sea ice has created problematic conditions for travel and challenges seal hunting predators.
Locating a Family: Diversion (02:31)
Buchanan prepares to look for polar bear dens; a young male approaches his group. Youthful individuals can be scared off when stood up to, which expert Jason Roberts accomplishes, and the researchers resume their search.
Locating a Family: Success (05:36)
Edge Island slopes accumulate deep snow drifts, ideal for Polar bear dens; Buchanan looks for indentations in snow caused by their body warmth. After two days, his team moves inland; Roberts spots a fresh looking hole, and a cub peeks out of it.
Anticipating Appearance (03:21)
Buchanan and team head back to their boat for the night after unrewardingly waiting for a mother bear to emerge from a den. They attract a large male; after investigating a snowmobile, Roberts scares him off. Polar bears are strict carnivores and hunting territories are receding.
Miki and Luca and Lyra (04:20)
Buchanan and team members test durability of the “Ice Cube,” an observation chamber engineered to resist polar bear attacks. He drives back to the den, hoping the mother emerges; she and two cubs appear and all are named.
Anticipating Challenges (02:40)
Roberts prepares food, requiring more to stay warm in arctic conditions. When the cubs are strong enough, they will leave the den with mother in search of sustenance, and be difficult to track; Buchanan enlists Doctor Jon Aars to use satellite collars to help him monitor them.
Taking Risks (07:05)
Buchanan observes a large male while awaiting the polar bear family’s departure from den; they sometimes eat cubs, more likely during food shortages. He uses the Ice Cube to get closer, placing himself near a seal’s breathing hole; the individual attempts to break in, but gives up.
Preparing to Move On (03:01)
Buchanan observes the polar bear family den; none seem to mind his presence. Lyra leads cubs out with calls; Miki looks strong, but Luca is reluctant. She assesses their readiness, watching them play near home.
Climate Change Impacts (04:02)
Buchanan and Roberts return to the den for observation; Lyra has lost half her body weight during hibernation and must eat soon or be unable to nurse. The family leaves their winter habitat, potentially facing difficult times after the warmest winter on record.
Utilizing Technology (08:49)
The polar bear family cannot be followed by snowmobile once off Edge Island. Buchanan continues to track them over difficult terrain until Aars and team tranquilizes Lyra; they examine and measure all, then equip her with satellite collar.
Successful First Phase (03:04)
When Lyra wakes, she and cubs will venture onto sea ice. When the waters open, Buchanan will track her by satellite. He obtains footage of the polar bear family as they revive from sedation and embark.
Credits: The Polar Bear Family And Me: Episode One (00:33)
Credits: The Polar Bear Family And Me: Episode One
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