Marinated steak. Sour cream. Yoghurt. Blueberries. Chicken. And bacon. Lots and lots of bacon. That's just a sample of the appetising haul scarfed down by a hungry polar bear who raided the digs of a BBC film crew in Svalbard.

The team was stationed on the chilly archipelago in the Arctic Ocean to film for the David Attenborough-narrated wildlife series The Hunttheir base a small wooden cabin in prime polar bear territory.

And it seems that when a bear wants to get at a stash of tasty treats, bolted doors are not much of an obstacle. The crew returned from a day's filming to find the culprit sleeping off a supersized feast, having left a monster of mess and some tell-tale tongue marks inside the cabin. (The upside? The bear left the alcohol alone.)

Flare guns eventually did the job of scaring the thief away, and lost supplies aside, the encounter ended with everyone unscathed.

But run-ins like this one are in fact a growing problem all across polar bear "range states", as the large predators spend more and more time on land (we have climate change to thank for that), ambling into human settlements in search of food.

"Polar bears are naturally curious and intelligent animals. In their white landscape, anything that is not also uniformly white might be edible, and at the very least is worth checking out. And bears are becoming habituated to people and coastal communities," warns the WWF. 

The organisation is working on various strategies to minimise encounters that can be dangerous for bears and humans alike. 


Top header image: Alex Berger, Flickr