Polar bear facts:

1.  The polar bear is the largest four-footed carnivore on Earth and can live up to 25 years.

2.  Although the polar bear's coat appears white, each individual hair is actually a clear hollow tube that channels the sun's energy directly to the bear's skin and helps it stay warm.

3.  The polar bear's entire body is furred, even the bottom of its paws. That helps prevent bears from slipping on the ice.

4.  The polar bear's feet are partially webbed for swimming, and its fur is water-repellent.

5.  Males are 8 to 11 feet long and weigh 500 to 1,100 pounds but can reach as much as 1,500 pounds. Females are smaller, measuring 6 to 8 feet long, and weigh from 350 to 600 pounds, occasionally reaching 700 pounds.

6.  Worldwide there are thought to be 22,000-27,000 polar bears in 19 separate populations. They can be found in the United States, Canada, Russia, Greenland and on the Arctic islands of Norway.

7.  Polar bears are the most nomadic of all bear species. They travel an average of 15 miles a day.

8.  Polar bears can be found on pack ice, coastal islands, coastlines and even out in Arctic waters. They are exceptional swimmers and have been observed in the sea more than 100 miles from the nearest land or pack ice.

9.  Polar bears are strictly carnivorous and feed or scavenge only meat. Their primary prey is the ringed seal.

10. Polar bears are predators. On rare occasions they will stalk and try to kill people.

11. A dog which has proven experience with polar bears can be effective in warning of, or deterring a bear. Several such dogs are better than one.

12. When there is reason to run, polar bears can quickly attain speeds of over 30 mph. A physically fit human might average 15 mph.