Friday, November 09, 2007

Back Stabbing Bears

Something has changed in the Polar Bears over in the Beaufort Sea. Studies have shown that some Polar Bears are going to desperate measures to overcome the struggle that Global Warming has bestowed upon them. The big, white mammals have resorted to cannibalism- yet another red flag to emphasize how severe and problematic Global Warming really is.

For the past 24 years in the sea regions of Alaska and 34 years in Canada, never had scientists seen a polar bear stalk, hunt, kill, and eat one of their own kinds. The first incident occurred in January 2004 when a male Polar Bear pounded through the roof of a den where a mother and her two baby cubs were. During the attack as the snow came crumbling down, the cubs were buried and suffocated under the snow. He then mauled the mother polar bear, holding down her smaller body while biting her neck and head. He dragged the dead carcass 245 feet away to eat.

In a span of four months (January-April 2004), there were three accounts of Polar Bears preying each other, a new phenomenon that is shocking environmentalists and scientists.

As glaciers and sea ice melt, Polar Bears are losing their areas to feed, mate, and give birth. Steven Amstrup of the U.S. Geological Survey Alaska Sceince Center said that,
“Polar bears kill each other for population regulation, dominance, and reproductive advantage, the study said. Killing for food seems to be less common,”
insinuating that as their living space is decreasing, there is simply not enough room or even food—and the animals are picking up and acting on this fact.

The longer seasons without ice keep them from getting to their natural food. An article from states that
“Bears in the region were "noticeably" thin because they had been forced to spend the summers either on ice over deep water, where there were fewer seals to hunt, or else on land, where foraging opportunities were poor,”
insinuating that as their living space is decreasing, there is simply not enough room or even food—and the animals are picking up and acting on this fact.

The other mangled Polar Bear carcasses (both of cubs and adults) found in seas near both Alaska and Canada are leading scientists to expect to see more and more of this backstabbing behavior as the ice cap continues to melt.

It is very clear now how the lack of resources due to Global Warming has affected these particular animals. But the drastic climate changes will also inevitably alter other parts of the food chain and Polar Bears will not be the only species struggling and turning on each other to survive. It is only a small example of the problems that Global Warming will continue to bestow on our environment.

Posted By: Natalie Nicholson (7)


At 9:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Back stabbing bears is a very creative title for this very disturbing finding. The extreme environment these animals live in is harsh enough without the added pressures of cannibalism. Unfortunately the political elite, the true political elite will not acknowledge the importance of findings such as these because it does not hit home with them. It's terrible that the natural world has to suffer from the ignorance of those who obtain the ability to rationalize and yield to do so. Only if Polar Bears came down from the arctic to feed on a Mercedes or a Lexus would most politicians take notice.

At 9:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Posted by MJP

At 7:27 PM, Blogger PWH said...

This story really shows that global warming isn't as simple a few degrees of temperature. It's likely that more and more of these abnormal behaviors will crop up as the situation gets worse. Hopefully eventually one of them will get people's attention.

Posted by Jon Hicks.


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