Facts about polar bears in Norway

Keen to see a polar bear during your Norwegian holiday?

Did you know this about polar bears in Norway?

  • It is often said that there are more polar bears than humans in Svalbard, however according to the 2015 scientific survey, there are about 270 polar bears versus only 2700 people in the Svalbard archipelago and the often cited polar bear population of 3,000 refers to the entire Barents Sea region (incl. the sea ice to the north and Russian territory to the east).
  • A polar bear typically weighs between 400 and 600 kilograms
  • Cubs only weigh about 600 grams at birth and they measure from 30 to 35 centimeters (12 to 14 inches)
  • The male polar bear does not hibernate
  • The female hibernates for approximately 2 months in the winter to have her cubs in snow caves on land
  • The female bears most commonly have twins, but singlets or triplets are also possible depending on the mother’s condition
  • The young bears walk with their mothers until they are about 2 years old
  • Polar bears typically only have five litters in their lifespan
  • Polar bears can survive up to 8 months without eating and they can walk over 5000 kilometres a year
  • Polar bears can reach a speed of more than 30 kilometres an hour over short distances
  • Polar bears are right at the top of the food chain, and they balance nature by preventing an overpopulation of seals

For more information about the practicalities of seeing Polar bears in Norway, read our latest information sheet.

Keen to see polar bears in Norway? Check out our range of Svalbard tours here