1950s Photos of Soviet Soldiers Feeding Polar Bears

These photos were taken in the 1950s during a routine military expedition in Chukchi Peninsula, Soviet Union. It is uncertain whether the peninsula has more people or polar bears. The climate is very severe, and in winter the temperature falls below 40 C degrees below zero (-40 Fahrenheit), leaving polar bears and their cubs starving and freezing.

The soldiers serving in the district didn’t turn their backs on the starving animals and started to feed them every now and then. And they fed them with what they had in abundance – condensed milk. They would open a can and give it to the bear who would lick all the milk out of it then feed her cubs with it.  It isn’t surprising to see condensed milk be given away to bears, because unlike some stuff that was rationed in the USSR,  condensed milk was available in unlimited amounts. It was a common dessert in the army too, not only among polar bears.

via Rare Historical Photos


  1. I’m not saying that it’s false information and fake photos. However the internet has taught me that any photo can be manipulated and I NEVER trust what I read without research.

  2. First of all, polar bears definitely aren’t “freezing” at -40… they are completely comfortable up to -75 and -80, and can survive for weeks at -120. Google it if you don’t believe me. Their hair is hollow, and their skin is dark, and any light follows the hair follicles down to the skin and warms them via solar warming. Pronghorn antelope are the same in that respect. Polar bears are very curious and can be fed, just like any other bear, but they will also (and have) attacked and killed many humans who haven’t conditioned them to feeding. At 11 feet tall they can be super dangerous and this Disney style article is disingenuous to say the least.

      • You’re right, you can. The lowest air temperature ever measured by a weather station, minus 89 degrees Celsius (minus 128 degrees Fahrenheit), was recorded there at Russia’s Vostok Station in July 1983.

  3. Thanks so much for sharing this beautiful story. I feel blessed for hearing this tale. Animals and Humans will live side by side in our Father’s Kingdom. Reminds me of what an amazing journey we have ahead in Christ Jesus.


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