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A female polar bear swam for a record-breaking nine days straight, traversing 426 miles (687 kilometers) of water—equivalent to the distance between Washington, D.C., and Boston, a new study says.
The predator made her epic journey in the Beaufort Sea (see map), where sea ice is shrinking due to global warming, forcing mother bears to swim greater and greater distances to reach land—to the peril of their cubs.
The cub of the record-setting bear, for instance, died at some point between starting the swim and when the researchers next observed the mother on land. She also lost 22 percent of her body weight.