E5 – Bonus Clip: Wildlife of Svalbard

Check out this clip that didn’t make it into our recent episode, Journey to the Center of the Ice, with glaciologist Kiya Riverman, about her close encounters with animals of the far north.







Shane Hanlon: Oh, hey, we’re back.

Nanci Bompey: We’re back.

Shane Hanlon: Wait, it’s the middle of the month. Nanci, why are we back?

Nanci Bompey: We have a short clip that did not make it into the podcast about whales and foxes and bears.

Shane Hanlon: Oh my!

Kiya Riverman: There are arctic foxes everywhere. A decent number of whales. I mostly go up in the winter because that’s when there’s not water flowing through the caves, so we can easily travel through the systems. It’s all frozen. Everything’s kind of asleep and quiet. There aren’t too many animals out and about except for reindeer. There are reindeer everywhere. The problem is that reindeer in the winter look just like polar bears. There have been so many moments when I am skiing along, or snowmobiling along, and you see this big, white blob in front of you. You’re like, “Oh man, is it a reindeer or a polar bear? Reindeer or polar bear?” Find out just in time that it’s a reindeer and you don’t have to worry at all. Then you laugh at yourself for how fast your heart is beating.

I actually had one super scary moment. In the little town that I was staying in, and a bear and I scared each other. I came out of my dorm, the building I was staying in, and walked around the corner and there was a bear also walking around the corner. We just scared each other. It was so bad. I ran back inside so it was no problem, and called, actually, the governor of the island up there to come and scare off the bear. But it turned into this whole thing. We all joked for a while after that that you’re gonna have to carry your rifle with you even if you were just taking out the trash.

Nanci Bompey: If you like this, be sure to check out the full episode, Journey to the Center of the Ice, wherever you get your podcasts.

Shane Hanlon: Thanks, all.

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