KAKTOVIK, Alaska (KTUU) - One Alaskan saw a tussle between a dog and a polar bear during a recent work trip, capturing it on film as a once-in-a-lifetime video memory.
A polar bear and a dog fight in Kaktovik, Alaska. Video from Christopher Miller.
During polar bear season in Kaktovik, a village of around 200 people located at the far north coast of Alaska on Barter Island, locals and visitors alike marvel at the bears, which roam the area for whale scraps after successful ocean hunts.
One polar bear strayed into a resident's property, and a dog, wagging its tail, took off after the giant, and actually wrestled with it before chasing it away. For dogs, it doesn't get much more Alaskan than that.
Christopher Miller, an electrical worker, had just arrived in Kaktovik for a job. He told KTUU that not long before he got off the plane, a homeowner nearby came up to the group, asking if they wanted to see a polar bear.
The group followed to the man's house, where the video was recorded. The man's dog was tussling with the bear, nipping at its face and chasing it around.
During one segment of the video, the polar bear seems to bite on to the dog's back and tail area, and pull the dog around. Rest assured, Miller said, the dog was not injured, and continued to chase after the bear.
Miller said the homeowner thought the bear was playing a little too rough at that point, and fired some warning shots into the air, and his dog did the rest - chasing the polar bear clear off the property. The bear was not injured either.
"I suspect the bear probably knows that dog, and they were looking to play, because let's be honest, if a bear really wants to do something, they're going to do it," Miller said.
It was the first time Miller had been to Kaktovik, but he said he would never forget this trip, and he was grateful for the local man who offered to help him and others share in the unique polar bear moment.
"For somebody to have the excitement and wherewithal, and to care enough to be like, 'Hey, do you want to share in this experience?' " Miller said, of the homeowner who brought them to see the bear. "I was really blown away by how respectful it was."