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« The approach of winter - as I approach and depart my breakfast | Main | Logbook entry: Transition - Point Lay to Kaktovik, via Barrow and Fairbanks »

Dog chases polar bear - polar bear chases dog

The polar bear sees something. What? Another creature, maybe, running around amidst bowhead whale bones on the edge of the Beaufort Sea.

It's a dog! A dog who who has come to chase polar bears!

It is too hard for a dog to climb atop the skull of a bowhead whale to chase a bear, so the dog is happy when he sees the bear climb down from the skull where it will be easier to chase.

The dog barks at the bear. He wants the bear to run so he can chase it.

Whoa! The bear does not run. The bear takes a swat at the dog - as if he were nothing more than a pesky mosquito.

Now, the bear chases the dog.

The dog seems to enjoy both the chase and being chased.

Beau, the dog: short for Beaufort as in Beaufort Sea. Beau is mighty proud of himself. Beau is the good friend of George Tagarook, better known by his Iñupiaq name of Tookak, which means harpoon head. Tukak is a whaling captain and fire chief for Kaktovik. He had taken Beau out for an evening run alongside the truck. Beau ran even futher, to the place called "The Bone Yard," or "Jurassic Park" where the Iñupiat whale hunters of Kaktovik pile the bones of the harvested bowheads that feed their village.

Reader Comments (25)

Bill, Good to see you out and about doing your thing. Love the dog/PB chase!

September 27, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterscott sternbach

Great Photos! Thank you for sharing!

September 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPatricia Whitener

Haha! Love the pictures! Were you there when all the polar bears when they started eating this whale? I only ask cause it was unbelievable.

September 27, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterpictures are awesome

This made me smile. Thank you.

September 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNicholas

I love everything posted on your blog but I am extremely happy to see North Slope pics again! Love the live action!

September 27, 2012 | Unregistered Commenternanuq

Love Jurassic Park! Those whale bones are HUGE! Had no idea they are that big. What beautiful animals running around and thru the bones! Thanks for the wonderful pictures. Glad you are doing so good!

September 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMrs Gunka

Fearless! I bet I see this series on national websites.

September 27, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdahli22

Beautiful photos again. Gives me heart palpations. Whoa, Beau, indeed. And where were you and George, Bill??

September 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGr K

What a great post! Love the pictures and the narrative.

September 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJim

Wow, fantastic and fun shots!
The first picture seems almost as if the bear is looking toward a bone that appears to be a smiling TRex!
Oh Beau, how brave. Love his happy body language in the last photo :)

September 27, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterangel

Haha good to see the dog safely having some fun there.I'd be too scared to let Midnight try a stunt like that XD

September 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSharene

Fantastic photos! The light is so pretty.

September 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKathryn

What a joyful look Beau has. Another great day being a dog, I guess.

September 28, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterannette

These photos are great. The bear looks so graceful up there on the bones. And from the look on Beau's face in that last picture- it looks like he had a super time.

September 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGrannyj

Bill - I've always loved your pictures; and I agree - you've made me smile - you keep me connected to my "region" just by doing your wonderful photos - Quyanaq Bill!

September 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChris & Roxanna (Adams) Moe

Bill, such a great post!

September 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

What a crazy dog!

September 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLittle Sister

Love the Beau photo

September 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGordon Lafleur

Bill! those are really fun! Really cute to see that happen!

September 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEdite

Beau looks like a fine dog with a brave heart. I love dogs like that. Made me miss my own boy.

September 29, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdebby

Spectacular photos Bill. Once again you're outdone yourself. Great light, great subjects, and the pics alone tell the story, your words are just an added bonus. Love, love, love the interaction between Beau & Bear. They both look like they're having great fun. Those pictures belong in National Geographic, I predict instant fame for you when the public sees them. Please submit them to all National Photography sites. Big winner.

Your love for the North lands just shines through all your pictures. Thank you - oh-great one.

September 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKatzKids

Beau and the Bears is so much fun to watch. Great shots!!!

September 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCheryl Benson

Marvellous series. All too often you hear about meetings between domestic and wild animals and one of them turn up being killed by the other. This on the other hand is just beautiful.
Thanks for sharing!

October 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFeanare

Mr. Hess, I have very much enjoyed reading your blog and viewing your photographs. Many of them have touched me. I wish to comment on your personal account of the true story behind the movie, The Big Miracle. After reading your blog, I decided to watch the movie for entertainment. It was such, but your first hand account is spectacular.

I live in the lower 48 and this past summer, I had the pleasure of spending a month in your state. I have traveled around all of our states and the world. There is no other place like Alaska and the genuine friends that I made. Your writing and photographs epitomize my experience.

Thank you.

October 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTracy

KBP - or whoever you might be - I left a response to your condescending and insulting comment this morning, but for some odd reason it is not here. I am not going to post your words, but the answer to your question is an emphatic "No!" I am a photojournalist and a documentary photographer. I react to life. I do not manipulate life. Your speculation that I or anyone else did here is absurd. Life just happens, and it happens in Rural Alaska in ways that it tends not to happen elsewhere. Life happened this day. I was there. I caught it.

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