National Geographic photographer films polar bear succumbing to climate change

Henrietta Strickland
December 11, 2017

'The simple truth is this - if the Earth continues to warm, we will lose bears and entire polar ecosystems. People think that we can put platforms in the ocean or we can feed the odd starving bear.

While in conversation with the CBC, SeaLegacy's co-founder Cristina Mittermeier said when the bear first got up, her team discovered it was in the late stages of starvation.

It is known that polar bears rely on sea ice to access their main food sources, such as seal and walrus. "Bears are going to starve to death", said Nicklen. "This is what a starving bear looks like". This large male bear was not old, and he certainly died within hours or days of this moment. We must reduce our carbon footprint, eat the right food, stop cutting down our forests, and begin putting the Earth-our home-first.

As the video progress, it showed that the once majestic and powerful predator is reduced to salvaging for food at a nearby garbage bin used by Inuit fishers - though the produce may not even be enough to save the marine mammal from starvation.

A gut-wrenching video taken on Canada's Baffin Island shows an adult polar bear that looks like little more than a bag of bones covered by slack fur.

The FWS report says addressing Arctic warming requires "global action" - something Nicklen called for in his social media post. With @CristinaMittermeier #turningthetide with @Sea_Legacy #bethechange #nature #naturelovers This video is exclusively managed by Caters News.

Also writing in the caption to his post, he said: "My entire Sea Legacy team was pushing through their tears and emotions while documenting this dying polar bear".

According to The Sun, the population of polar bears have rapidly decreased, so much so that scientists have theorised that the species will go extinct in 100 years.

Polar bears face an existential threat from climate change due to the loss of habitat from melting sea ice, scientists believe. "It's telling us climate change is happening today, not in 10 to 30 years, it is here and it is present and it is affecting these lovely animals today", Dr Čašule told SBS News.

A study by the U.S. Geological Survey said that polar bears are being forced to try to "outrun" global warming by moving eastward on an accelerating "treadmill" of remaining sea ice. "We have seen more and more very thin polar bears in the Arctic in recent years as climate change increases in intensity and opens up more water". Disappearing seals and ice make it more and more hard for the bears to hunt for food, and the melting of sea ice will only make the problem worse for this threatened species. Bears need an vast amount of food, he said, about an average of a seal a week. He said that he did not have tranquilisers or pounds of meat to save the dying animal and would have become his prey himself, if he had intervened.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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