AMAZING pictures from the Arctic show an army of more than 230 polar bears feasting on a washed up whale carcass.
The animals descended on the beach for an unexpected lunch after a bowhead whale became stranded and died on Russia’s remote Wrangel Island.
The extraordinary sight was witnessed by tourists on an Arctic cruise aboard the Finnish-built MV Akademik Shokalskiy.
A source at Wrangel Island Nature Reserve said: “There were at least 230 polar bears, including single males, single females, mothers with cubs and even two mothers with four cubs each.”
Experts called the sight of so many polar bears together “unique”.
The huge number could in fact amount to as much one per cent of the entire world’s population of the creatures.
Tourists initially thought the bears were a flock of sheep after viewing them from a distance, The Siberian Times reports.
But as the boat drew closer, the lucky holidaymakers realised what they were witnessing.
The mainly Russian tourists had just departed from a stopover on the island when they spotted the bears.
Their cruise ship was travelling from Mumansk to the Chukotka region, close to the US state of Alaska.
A spokesman said: “The information about this unique gathering has been passed to the international scientific group that monitors Chukotka and Alaska’s population of polar bears.
Polar bear headcam gives an insight into the majestic creature’s life
“Members of the group and staff of Wrangel Island reserve are continuing to make observations.”
Wrangel Island is famous as the last place on the planet to have been inhabited by the now-extinct woolly mammoth.
The hairy beasts survived on the island – located off Russia’s north-eastern coast – until around 2000BC.
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