High-Tech Hidden Cameras Film Polar Bears Close Up

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Bear meets camera. Screenshot from BBC.com

Trying to get up close and personal with the world's largest land carnivore can be a tricky, and dangerous, endeavor. Even some of the hardy high-tech cameras the BBC dispatched to the frigid reaches of Norway didn't fare too well -- but they captured some pretty cool images along the way.Video footage for the new documentary "Polar Bear: Spy on The Ice" was taken with a collection of snow-camouflaged cameras -- one a rolling ball, one equipped with skis, and another that floats like an iceberg -- that can withstand temperatures as low as -30 degrees Celsius. The cameras captured a dramatic vignette of a polar bear stealthily attempting to hunt a seal, and glimpses of a mama bear and her cubs emerging from an icy maternity den.

They also filmed one of their number, "snowball cam," meeting its end at the hands, er, paws, of a curious young male polar bear. With the big Arctic dwellers increasingly under threat by climate change and even hunting, let's hope these images won't be among the last we see of polar bears in the wild.