Friday, August 30, 2013

Polar-less bear

This bear was examined by Norwegian scientists in April and found to be healthy, but - since the fjords and inter-island channels in Svalbard did not freeze normally last winter - made a desperate and unsuccessful dash 150 miles north in search of seals. “From his lying position in death the bear appears to simply have starved and died where he dropped. He had no external suggestion of any remaining fat, having been reduced to little more than skin and bone,” says biologist Ian Stirling with the conservation group Polar Bears International, who found the animal in July. Photographer Ashley Cooper noted that its remains had neither been scavenged nor had they decomposed, and adds, “There was just no fat on it. It was just completely shrunken and shriveled, a very, very skinny specimen of a polar bear. It looked basically like a rug because there was just no weight on it at all.

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