Most people would never think of cuddling with a polar bear, much less swimming with one. Not Mark Dumas, owner of and professional animal trainer with Beyond Just Bears. Dumas freely cuddles up to an 800-lb polar bear named Agee. Agee has been in several films and commercials, including the 1996 movie Alaska, filmed when he was still a cub.
In a 2012 YouTube video, Dumas shows off his special bond by wrestling and swimming with Agee. The video shows him close up with the bear, hugging him, putting the bear’s paw around his neck, and even swimming underwater. The bear seems to trust him and is gentle with Dumas. Agee never shows aggression and acts very playful throughout the video.
Polar bears, even those in captivity, are known to be aggressive, determined and unpredictable. This makes the bond between Agee and Dumas more unusual. Agee could easily hurt the man, but the video shows no sign of any ill will towards him. Agee is quite a celebrity and has his own Facebook page. The page is filled with current photos showing that Dumas still swims and works with the large carnivore. At 20 years old, Agee is considered an elderly bear. Most polar bears live to be between 15 and 18 years old, though there have been some known to live into their thirties and forties.