GPS tracking of 52 female adult polar bears by US Geological Survey reveals average swim of 96 miles and one of 220 milesPolar bears are capable of swimming vast distances – a survival skill potentially needed in an Arctic environment where summer sea ice is vanishing, a study led by the US Geological Survey (USGS) has found.The study, published in the Canadian Journal of Zoology, tracked 52 female polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea off Alaska. Between 2004 and 2009, a period of extreme summer-ice retreat, about a third of those bears made swims exceeding 30 miles, according to the study. The 50 recorded swims averaged 96 miles, and one bear was able to swim nearly 220 miles (354 km), according to the study results. The duration of the long-distance swims lasted from most of a day to nearly 10 days, according to the study.The bears' movements were tracked...
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