A heartbreaking video of a polar bear reveals as it wanders around an ice-less land, polar bear is starving and close to death. The harsh consequences of rising temperatures and sea level rise presented in the video. It is really a hard-to-watch video.
The video of a starving polar bear searching for food on a remote Canadian island has gone viral on social media and has been shared more than a million times since it was posted to Instagram on Tuesday.
When they chanced upon a polar bear wandering about in ice-less land, biologist and photographer Paul Nicklen and other filmmakers from a conservation group were in the Baffin Islands.
In his emotional caption on Instagram, Nicklen wrote that his entire team was “pushing through tears” while documenting this bear, who “certainly died within hours of this moment.”
But instead of a large, fluffy polar bear, the bony bear they saw was very thin and walked with one of its legs dragging behind it perhaps due to muscle atrophy. The video presents for food the polar bear rummaging in a trash can – when it finds nothing to eat, It collapses.
No ice, no food
Nicken’s colleague, Cristina Mittermeier, said polar bears need hundreds of pounds of meat to survive, but that the gradual melting of ice in the region has made it difficult for them to catch seals — their primary food source.
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According to Nicklen, they were emotional when they filmed the struggling bear looking close to its death. When asked why he did not help the creature, Nicklen stated that while it did cross his mind, feeding wild polar bears is actually illegal in Canada and that they would only be prolonging the bear’s misery. What’s more, he states that they filmed the bear’s suffering to show people what it means when scientists say that bears may go extinct as a result of starvation.
“It’s a soul-crushing scene that still haunts me, but I know we need to share both the beautiful and the heartbreaking if we are going to break down the walls of apathy,” said Nicklen in his social media post, also stating that if the planet continues to warm, we can lose not just bears but entire polar ecosystems.
Polar bears often hunt for seals on chunks of floating ice in the Arctic. However, with the rising sea levels and temperatures, those chunks of sea ice are getting harder and harder to find for polar bears, leaving them to starve. In fact, it has become common for polar bears to go for months without eating.
My entire @Sea_Legacy team was pushing through their tears and emotions while documenting this dying polar bear. It’s a soul-crushing scene that still haunts me, but I know we need to share both the beautiful and the heartbreaking if we are going to break down the walls of apathy. This is what starvation looks like. The muscles atrophy. No energy. It’s a slow, painful death. When scientists say polar bears will be extinct in the next 100 years, I think of the global population of 25,000 bears dying in this manner. There is no band aid solution. There was no saving this individual bear. People think that we can put platforms in the ocean or we can feed the odd starving bear. The simple truth is this—if the Earth continues to warm, we will lose bears and entire polar ecosystems. This large male bear was not old, and he certainly died within hours or days of this moment. But there are solutions. We must reduce our carbon footprint, eat the right food, stop cutting down our forests, and begin putting the Earth—our home—first. Please join us at @sea_legacy as we search for and implement solutions for the oceans and the animals that rely on them—including us humans. Thank you your support in keeping my @sea_legacy team in the field. With @CristinaMittermeier #turningthetide with @Sea_Legacy #bethechange #nature #naturelovers This video is exclusively managed by Caters News. To license or use in a commercial player please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 121 616 1100 / +1 646 380 1615”
A post shared by Paul Nicklen (@paulnicklen) on Dec 5, 2017 at 8:52am PST
In 2002, a World Wildlife Fund report stated that polar bears were staying on land longer than they are staying on ice, prolonging their fasting seasons for longer periods of time. As such, the starvation trend could lead to the species’ extinction.
It is not often that people see the concrete destruction that can occur as a result of climate change, but the video poses as a reminder that while humans may not always see its immediate deadly effects, creatures such as polar bears are one of the first to suffer from it and they are already experiencing it right now.