Polar bear comes close to cameraman

4th Jan 2013
Written by: Macca Sherifi

Polar bear comes close to cameraman

Gordon Buchanan has a close call with nature

When Gordon Buchanan was sent off to film polar bears in Svalbard for the BBC he probably didn’t think he’d get so close to the action. However, one starving polar bear had other things on its mind as it tried to make a meal of the filmmaker, and it was all caught on camera.

The only thing stopping the 500kg animal was a “bombproof” Perspex box, and it certainly seemed up to the job.

Gordon, who has filmed the one of the world’s deadliest creatures for 20 years, endured 40 minutes of terror as the eight foot animal pounded the safety of the Perspex box trying to find a way in.

He said the experience was the scariest thing that had ever happened to him.

“I was terrified and you could hear my heartbeat on the mic. It really was a sensational moment and a worrying situation.

“It shows how enormous and powerful they are.

“It is the most difficult thing I have done and the scariest. I’ve not been terrified for 40 minutes before.”

The terrifying encounter happened in Svalbard, in the northern-most region of Arctic Norway, for his three-part BBC series ‘The Polar Bear Family and Me’.

The cameraman followed the mother bear, Lyra, and her cubs Miki and Lica for twelve months for unprecedented access to the family’s life.

He risked long journeys over and through the ice, often into uncharted territory, battling freezing winds, violent storms and plummeting temperatures.

On a number of occasions the crew had to flee on their snowmobiles as the giant predators edge closer and closer to them.

There seems no better way to promote a series, which starts on Monday 7th January at 9:30pm on BBC2, than this little teaser. Thankfully, Gordon wasn’t harmed in the incident – just a bit shaken, literally…

How do you think you would have reacted gappers? Let us know by posting a comment below.

If you’re planning on going to Norway on your gap year then head over to our Norway country section for advice and information and don’t forget to jump on the message boards to talk to your fellow travellers.


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