Polar bears are efficient swimmers, for such large animals. While in the water they paddle with their front feet, and use the hind feet as rudders. They can swim at a speeds of 4-6 mph and paddle non-stop for 100 miles.
Polar bears are capable of swimming for up to 100 kilometers, even further if necessary. Polar bears are accustomed to swimming long distances in one shot, especially when they need to get from one piece of ice to another. It also helps that they can hold their breaths under water for long periods of time. “The longest a polar bear in the wild has been timed holding its breath while diving is 72 seconds.”
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