This could be a heartbreaking sight for most people. Researchers spotted and filmed a starving polar bear on its deathbed in the Baffin Islands, which is a Canadian territory of Nunavut. They theorized that this could be the devastating impact of climate change.
The starving and helpless polar bear was captured by Sea Legacy filmmakers. Christina Mittermeier, the co-founder of Sea Legacy, said that when the animal first got up they could see that he was actually in the late stages of starvation.
The bear was seen making its way to a trash bin and looking for a meal. It seemed he was eating a piece of the seat from a snowmobile, which had a foam that was burned and charred. It was definitely inedible.
Paul Nicklen, the photographer who published the video of the bony polar bear on social media, described it as the most gut-wrenching sight he had ever seen. They stood there crying while filming with tears rolling down their cheeks. They filmed the polar bear because they wanted the world to see what starvation of a majestic animal looks like.
The bear looked so very weak as he dragged one of his legs to search for food. Nicklen said that the bear, which was not old, might have died within hours of being captured on video.
Incredibly sad and heart breaking. ????
— Lindyloobylooo (@Lindyloobylooo) December 9, 2017
“This is what starvation looks like. The muscles atrophy. No energy. It’s a slow, painful death,” said Nicklen.
Polar bears are known to live only in Arctic regions. And because of the effects of climate change in the Arctic, the polar bears are the first to feel the impact of climate change such as warming temperatures and rising seas.
In a report by World Wildlife Fund in 2002, it speculated that climate change could endanger polar bears. The report indicated that polar bears are transferring from ice to land and staying on the land longer. By the end of summer, most of the polar bears showed signs of starvation, according to National Geographic.
Moreover, studies published last year and this year by the European Geosciences Union and the U.S. Geological Survey indicated that melting sea ice has become an existential threat to polar bears.
Nicklen noted on social media that there was no saving this individual bear. He further said that “the simple truth is this — if the Earth continues to warm, mankind will lose bears and entire polar ecosystems,” as noted by The Guardian.