Mark Dumas, 67, might be the only man in the world who can swim with a polar bear. The fearless bear trainer from Abbotsford, British Columbia can often be seen swimming with his pet polar bear, Agee.
Agee who is a 23-year-old polar bear is not only friendly but she is also close to Mark and his wife, Dawn. The polar bear often loves messing around with Mark as she hugs and gives him kisses when they spend time together.
The couple has been training 362-kg (57 stone) Agee to star in several high-budget TV advertisements and films. She once made an appearance in the film “Alaska” in 1995 when she was only a few weeks old.
In an interview with LADBible, Mark and Dawn have been with Agee throughout her whole life. “Agee has lived with me for her whole life,” he said.
“She’s always there. I’m with her until she passes or I pass. I mean, that’s just the way it is.”
“She’s 23 years old. In captivity, they live until they’re roughly between 30 and 35 years old,” Mark explained the possibility of Agee living longer than polar bears living in the wild.
According to Mark, being courageous to live with a polar bear was not the only thing that has allowed him to raise Agee.
It is all thanks to the strong friendship they have forged over the years.
“Aggy’s life is a really good life. She doesn’t have to hunt, all the groceries are brought to her and it’s top-quality food. There’s not a matter of having to go out on the ice and kill something—she doesn’t do that,” he said.
Needless to say, there were times when he had to teach Agee to not bite humans when she was young.
“No, I mean she bit me when she was young, but that’s to be expected,” Mark said.
“You can’t teach them to not do something unless they’ve done it. So with baby bears you’re gonna get bitten. That’s just how baby bears are,” he added.
“That’s how you teach them. Even with humans, you have to teach a baby not to bite you.”
Mark added that as he has been training bears for over 40 years, he knew how to read Agee’s body language and how to behave safely around the bear.
“The only people in the whole world she likes are my wife and I,” he told Daily Mail.
“I have worked with bears in this way for over 40 years so I can read Agee’s body language and know how to behave safely around her. But Agee is the boss and it’s her rules that count.”
Watch this full video to see how close they are