These photos were taken in the 1950s during a routine military expedition in Chukchi Peninsula, Soviet Union. It is uncertain whether the peninsula has more people or polar bears. The climate is very severe, and in winter the temperature falls below 40 C degrees below zero (-40 Fahrenheit), leaving polar bears and their cubs starving and freezing.
The soldiers serving in the district didn’t turn their backs on the starving animals and started to feed them every now and then. And they fed them with what they had in abundance – condensed milk. They would open a can and give it to the bear who would lick all the milk out of it then feed her cubs with it. It isn’t surprising to see condensed milk be given away to bears, because unlike some stuff that was rationed in the USSR, condensed milk was available in unlimited amounts. It was a common dessert in the army too, not only among polar bears.