National Geographic : 1998 Jan
NO SAFE HIDEOUT The bears' favorite prey, ringed seal pups are born in spring in little caves that their mothers hollow from snowdrifts above their breathing holes in the sea ice. The pups seem well hidden-but not from the bears' incredible sense of smell. In Lancaster Sound one hunter follows its nose to a den (left), seizes a pup (below), and kills it with bites to the head. By six weeks old, the pups have become 50 pound butterballs that are almost half fat. Bears often ignore meat on the carcasses of adults, gorging only on the fat for pure energy.