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Location: between Magdalenefjord and Sallyhamna, Spitzbergen (Svalbard)

Life & Death is a documentary about a dead floating finwhale at the north-western coastline of Spitzbergen attracting numerous polar bears during the last weeks of the summer season 2009.


The carcass first appeared inside Magdalenefjorden at the end of july. During the following weeks it drifted alot by wind and current. By mid- september it became wedged in the shallows in an area called Sallyhamna, more than 20 nautical miles away from Magdalenefjord.

The decaying carcass attracted many polar bears in the vicinity who had been waiting for winter to come. The summer is the hardest part of a year to survive, whereas during winter, when sea ice covers the fjords, polar bears have much better hunting conditions for their main prey of a ringed seal. This summer feast was an amazing treat.