This story is of a polar bear captured by the most famous of 18th century whaling captains, William Scoresby senior of Whitby.
It seems a member of Scoresby's valliant crew came upon a female bear and her cub and carried out the usual protocol. It was customary to dispatch the mother with a well aimed shot. Often the cub would be more puzzled and frightened than vicious. It was swiftly trussed up and taken back to the ship.
Usually the cub would be kept in a barrel with bars over the front for the entire voyage. Maybe a fish would be tossed in every now and again, occasionally the hapless animal would be doused with a bucket of sea water.
Scoresby however fastened this particular bear to a point on the deck. With a regime of painful taps to the bear's black nose and rewards of whale meat for good behaviour, the good captain was able to lead the cub round the deck on a rope leash. By the end of the season he considered it tame.