Published: Sunday 10 December, 2017

Tragic Video of Starving Polar Bear Reminds Us that Global Warming is Real

Video of a polar bear facing certain death due to starvation has gone viral. Taken by photographer Paul Nicklen, the starving polar bear is shown to be thin and very weak as it nears its end. It is a reminder that global warming is real.

starving polar bear dies global warming

This starving polar bear died shortly after the video was taken. (Screen grab Paul Nicklen video/Facebook)

The image is a stark contrast to the usual photos of polar bears we see – strong, intimidating and scary, hunting for food in the snow and ice. It devours fish and seals to keep its energy. But in the absence of snow and ice in the Baffin Islands in greenland where the video was taken, this polar bear faced starvation.

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‘We stood there crying – filming with tears rolling down our cheeks,’ Paul Nicklen told National Geographic. He added that he and some members of his team considered helping the dying bear but, for one, it is illegal to feed wild animals in the area. And it will only prolong the agony of the dying animal.

Photographer Cristina Mittermeier, in an Instagram post, added: “People have asked why we couldn’t help it, why we didn’t feed it. In addition to being illegal to feed wildlife, polar bears like this one need several hundred pounds of meat to survive. They primarily eat seals and they struggle when they are stranded for long periods of time on land, without a sea ice platform from which to hunt. We didn’t have a weapon and we didn’t have any food for it. There literally was nothing we could do for him as we were hundreds of miles from the nearest Inuit community.”

‘The simple truth is this – if the Earth continues to warm, we will lose bears and entire polar ecosystems,” Nicklen wrote on Facebook. ‘This large male bear was not old, and he certainly died within hours or days of this moment.”

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‘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.’