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A Polar Bear Raided the David Attenborough Film Crew’s Wine Supply

While filming in the Arctic region of Svalbard, the film crew on David Attenborough’s new wildlife documentary series had their hut ravaged by a wine-seeking polar bear.

by Phoebe Hurst
Nov 16 2015, 1:00pm

Being a polar bear looks like a pretty tough gig. Not only have you got the rapidly melting ice caps and threat of poachers to worry about, you're also wearing white all the time. That's like being in your posh interview shirt and trying to eat soup without turning yourself into a Jackson Pollock painting—but every fucking day.

With this in mind, is it any wonder that, after a hard day of mutilating adorable baby seals and engaging in .gif-worthy frolicking, that polar bears may enjoy relaxing with a glass of wine? And that they could wreak chaos and destruction to get at said wine?

READ MORE: This Cat Had a Three-Day Hangover After Drinking 40 Euros Worth of Wine

Seems pretty reasonable to you or I, but the film crew working on David Attenborough's latest wildlife documentary series The Hunt may not be so understanding.

Speaking to The Daily Mail earlier this month, series producer Sophie Lanfear recalled how the hut the film crew had been staying in while filming in the Arctic region of Svalbard was ravaged by a wine-seeking polar bear.

According to Lanfear, the crew were out capturing footage of Arctic foxes and wolves when they came back to find the door hanging off its hinges and their food supplies, including biscuits, chocolate, fruit, and meat that had been stored in a metal trunk, gone.

Surprisingly given the creatures' size and apparent lack of dexterity, the polar bear swiped the food with very little collateral damage, aside from a few tell-tale wrappers and y'know, the door.

Lanfear said: "We hadn't cleared our breakfast cups from the table and they were still exactly as we'd left them. The cabin is only 13 foot by 10 foot, so for a bear that size not to have caused damage was remarkable."

But that wasn't enough for old Snowy. Later, when Lanfear and the crew were out filming guillemots, the polar bear returned.

And this time, shit got real.

The bear ripped out kitchen drawers, split open packets of pasta, smeared oil over the walls, and emptied jars of olives. The crowning glory in this picture of destruction though, was a box of red wine, which the bear had managed to get his snout into. When the crew arrived back to the cabin, they found him lying "comatose on its back across the doorway with a red wine stain across its face."

We've all been there.

Lanfear explained: "We could see the bear going into the cabin while we were up on the cliffs filming but we'd waited weeks for this event and there was nothing we could do. When we got back we set off flares and were shouting and screaming to frighten him off but he was very blasé. It became obvious he wasn't scared, and with a broken door there was less protection between him and us."

WATCH: Cooking Polar Bear Meat and Caribou Head in the North

Thanks to the insatiable appetite of the blasé bear, the team were left with just a few teabags and a jar of Marmite to see them through the shoot.

Lanfear added: "It was 24-hour daylight while we were filming so they were long days and a decent meal at the end of it is what keeps you going. We all felt pretty miserable."

But spare a thought for the polar bear, Sophie. It must be pretty miserable waking up with a red wine hangover in 24-hour daylight wearing last night's stained outfit, too.