Introduction: The Polar Bear Family And Me: Episode Three (04:38)
Gordon Buchanan revisits Svalbard in autumn, hoping to reunite with a polar bear family; biologist Jon Aars has been monitoring mother Lyra by satellite from Norway. Last filmed, her and cub Miki were stranded and starving, and her satellite collar starting to malfunction.
Finding The Family (08:16)
Buchanan searches for Lyra and Miki, worrying about the cub after warmest conditions in the arctic on record; without sea ice, polar bears cannot hunt seals. He locates them; they look unhealthy, foraging on moss and seaweed.
Biological History (03:26)
All bears evolved from a common ancestor, moving and adapting to different habitats; evidence shows polar bears developed seal hunting on ice over four million years. Buchanan's observation of Lyra is prevented due to stormy conditions.
Endangered Family (07:21)
Buchanan relocates Lyra near Miki's birthing den; they have traveled over 1,000 kilometers since emerging. They are struggling to survive, eating plastic fishing floats; it is the worst recorded hunting conditions. Aars worries about her ability to nurse.
Starving Polar Bears (02:23)
Buchanan revisits Lyra and Miki. She can no longer suckle her cub, walking away when he attempts to nurse.
Human Inflicted Changes (06:12)
Buchanan loses track of Lyra due to stormy conditions; while searching for her, his team locates a trapper's cabin. Polar bears were endangered from poaching; in 1973, the Norwegian government banned hunting them, and Svalbard populations have stabilized.
Observing Suffering (03:51)
Buchanan checks in on Lyra and Miki; her body language threatens him and the crew for the first time. It is illegal to feed Svalbard wildlife, but he is tempted to intervene.
Staying Safe (02:28)
Less ice brings polar bears closer to human populations. Buchanan visits a research station using dogs as warning systems; they bark, and scientists respond with scare guns. They discuss species behavior and varying characteristics.
Arctic Work Conditions (04:47)
Increasing storm activity signals time for Buchanan's departure from Svalbard; he loses two days to weather, lamenting time lost with Lyra. He attempts to reach shore in a smaller vessel, nearly capsizing, and returning to the ship.
Worry and Hope (06:00)
Buchanan observes Lyra for the last time; she and Miki are still alive, but vulnerable, specially adapted to arctic habitat, now rapidly changing. After returning home, he receives update; she has traveled north and found a whale carcass, enough food for the winter.
Credits: The Polar Bear Family And Me: Episode Three (00:30)
Credits: The Polar Bear Family And Me: Episode Three
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