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In Hot Pursuit

What's the best place for a male Polar Bear to meet a potential mate? The experts recommend going to a prime seal-hunting spot. But finding such a spot is only the beginning of the challenge.

One reason a male Polar Bear must work overtime for a date is that females of the species don't breed every year or even every other year. A female Polar Bear usually breeds only once every three years, which means that males outnumber eligible females three-to-one at the start of breeding season in the spring.

So competition for female attention is fierce, and males must fight one another, sometimes viciously, for the privilege of mating. Further complicating matters is the fact that female Polar Bears enjoy a good chase and will lead pursuing males across the ice for miles and miles. In some cases, a chase can cover more than sixty miles -- not for the timid or the weak of heart.

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2007 eNature.com