Since today is International Polar Bear Day, I thought I’d share some of my best polar bear pictures from the San Diego Zoo and from SeaWorld San Diego.
Polar bears are being significantly affected by global warming. Polar bears are marine mammals that need Arctic ice to survive. As the ice melts, creating sea ice platforms that are farther and father apart, the polar bears must swim farther to find their main food source, seals.
In the past twenty years, the ice-free period in Canada’s Hudson Bay has increased by an average of twenty days, cutting the polar bears’ seal hunting season by nearly three weeks. Not only is the ice freezing later in the fall, but it is melting earlier in the spring, creating a narrower time frame for polar bears to hunt during the seal pupping season. Polar bear weight has declined by an average of 15 percent, causing a decrease in reproduction rates as well.
Scientists have found drowned polar bears in the Arctic, something never seen before, and an indication that polar bears are not being successful in swimming so far to hunt for food. One female polar bear swam for nine days, nonstop-across the Beaufort Sea, before reaching an ice floe. The journey cost her 22% of her weight. Her little cub died during the journey.
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