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Marmite: Do polar bears love it or hate it?

Updated Tuesday 17th November 2015

Sophie Lanfear, Assistant Producer of The Hunt series recalls when a polar bear broke into the film crew's cabin in search of snacks. 

Polar bear looking at marmite Creative commons image Icon Marmite by David Martyn Hunt under CC-BY-SA licence Polar bear by Ansgar Walk (photo taken by Ansgar Walk) [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC BY 2.5], via Wikimedia Commons under Creative-Commons license In the Arctic we stayed in hunters’ cabins about four metres by four metres. There are four of you in there so it’s cramped. In the summer months the chances of you seeing a polar bear are very, very slim. Then one day we came back from filming and something had broken in to our cabin. It had pulled the door off its hinges, eaten all the chocolate, oil and butter and then gone through all the trash out back. He’d also worked his way through 20 kilos of new food stock we’d just got in, which meant no fresh food for us. Suddenly we were all a bit more nervous about that 500m walk to the toilet hut.

We cleaned everything up and fixed the door as best we could. Then, a few days later, we met our intruder, a polar bear, on the way back to the cabin. He didn’t scare that easily, which was not a good sign. Sure enough, the next night the bear was pounding at the front door. We scared him off again, but the next time we went off to film we saw the bear heading straight towards the cabin and we filmed him breaking in again. This time he just destroyed the place. The only thing he didn’t eat was the Marmite. And then every five hours basically he’d come back. We couldn’t leave the hut: armed with a couple of flare guns and a guide with a loud voice and nerves of steel, it was time to re-stake it as our territory. The bear didn’t come back after that. Hunting strategies? Well, we do know that bears don’t like Marmite. At least this one didn’t.

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