Viewers watching Arctic Live were fascinated by the concept of polar bear jail

Yes, it really is a thing...

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There were lots of fascinating things about the opening episode of BBC2’s Arctic Live – the starkly beautiful expanse of frozen tundra Kate Humble and co were presenting from, the people who live and work in frozen Greenland and, of course, the wildlife that lives there with them.

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Seeing wild polar bears loping around – even at one point banging up against the viewing platform Humble was standing on – was pretty awe-inspiring and there was a lot to think about in terms of the animals’ fate, given what we all know is happening to the polar ice caps at the moment. 

But one thing most viewers had no prior awareness of was… polar bear jail…

Yep, polar bear jail is a thing. It’s where bears are sent (or rather air-lifted by helicopter) when they’ve “misbehaved” – ie, got a bit too close to town for comfort – and they’re released when the Hudson Bay has frozen over again, and they’ll naturally head away to safety (people’s safety, that is).

Most viewers were on the bears’ side. After all, it’s not easy being a polar bear these days…

We also imagined what they did to get in there…

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And how they might get out again…