Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A bear with a sore head - and an empty belly: Polar bear that fancied snacking on a seagull ends up biting off more than he can chew


Bear bites back: The polar bear surfaces immediately behind the unsuspecting gull and clamps its jaws into the bird's back

This brave seagull heroically took on a polar bear in an epic battle of David v Goliath - and won.

The ten-minute encounter between bird and beast stunned onlookers as the seagull dramatically escaped with its feathers intact.

After the scrap the shame-faced half tonne bear scampered off in search of easier prey to pick a fight with.

Bird fights back: The gull pecks its attacker in the eye in a desperate attempt to get away

Photographer Ole Jorgen Liodden was shocked when he captured the incredible moments on film.

Before the bruising encounter Ole had been happily snapping away at the Glaucous gull as it gently bobbed on the water minding its business.

The polar bear appeared from nowhere and unusually, instead of hunting for its preferred prey of seals, decided to dive into the water and swim up to the bird.

Where's he gone? Temporarily blinded, the bear appears to have lost sight of his quarry

The bear launched a ferocious attack on the gull by biting it on its back and following up with a flurry of blows.

However, this gull was no bird brain and, using its beak, instinctively landed a few hits of its own to the bear's sensitive eyes and nose.

Sensing the bird was not about to become dinner, the bear swum off and the fearless gull was able to make a getaway.

On a wing and a prayer: The seagull managed to fend off the bear for several minutes

On the back foot: The polar bear is on the defensive as the tussling pair move into shallow water

Ole, 37, from Norway, took the photos in the north of the country, in Svalbard.

'This was our second photo expedition to Svalbard and we experienced an incredibly rare situation between a polar bear and a Glaucous gull,' he said.

'The bear suddenly dived and swam a good ten to 15 metres underwater before it attacked the surprised young gull.

'I have never seen anything like this on previous expeditions and the fight was more interesting than I had expected.

'Usually a polar bear can easily kill a 100kg seal, and a gull weighing in at 1.5 kg should be an easy catch.

'After the first bite to the back of the gull, the bear continued its attack in the water.

'The gull fought heroically, and with its bill managed several direct hits to the bear's eyes and nose.

'This made the bear back off and the gull escaped after ten minutes.'

Everything but the gull: Polar bears may be at the top of the food chain, but the only thing this bear got to swallow was its pride

source: dailymail

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