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Alaska Beat

Man swims with a polar bear, quite often actually (+video)

  • Author: Craig Medred
  • Updated: September 27, 2016
  • Published September 17, 2012

We've all heard of swimming with dolphins, but what about swimming with a polar bear? CBC News reports about one man in British Columbia who does just that.

Mark Dumas, 60, of Abbotsford, B.C., takes a dip every morning with his polar bear "Agee," a female who has been in his family for 17 years, since she was a cub. She could easily live for two more decades.

Agee weighs nearly 800 pounds. "I don't worry about her possibly hurting me," Dumas says.

Raised in captivity, Agee is something of a movie star, as North America's only trained polar bear. At just a few weeks old, she appeared in the 1995 movie "Alaska," and CBC shows a clip of her walking down city streets in a more recent Nissan commerical.

"She's still a wild animal," Dumas tells CBC News. "At certain times of the day she's a little cranky." At that point he'll leave her alone. "She'll usually take a nap, she comes out and she's in a good mood," he says.

Unfortunately, the film industry hasn't been calling on Agee for a lot of appearances recently, and the costs have been racking up for Dumas. "So what do you do when your daughter is costing you a lot of money? Do you throw her out in the street? No, you just have to deal with it," he tells CBC.

Read more from CBC News, and be sure to watch Dumas' video below, it has garnered nearly 6 million hits as of this writing. And if you can't get enough terrifying but adorable cuddling with an apex predator, check out a really cute photo gallery of Dumas and Agee hosted by the UK's Telegraph.

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