Our three polar bears, Tatqiq, Kalluk and Chinook, enjoyed a snow day thanks to the generosity of Animal Care Wish List donors. We can’t thank our donors enough for making our bears so happy.
Posts tagged polar bears.
A polar bear’s paws are marvelously adapted to life in the Arctic. A polar bears giant paws can be 12” across and act as snowshoes to spread the polar bear’s weight out so they can walk on thin ice. The bottom of a bear’s paw is has lots of little bumps on it, like the surface of a basketball, which helps the bear get a good grip on the ice and keep them from slipping. Thickly callused pads both protect from the cold and prevent the bears from cutting themselves on sharp ice edges. A polar bear has five toes with claws on each foot. Long claws help the bear to travel on the ice, pull itself up onto the ice after a swim, or dig snow caves. Sharp claws are also deadly weapons when attacking walrus or caribou, snatching seals out of the water, or fighting off other bears. The forepaws are partially webbed to assist in swimming. Polar bears swim using their large front paws to propel themselves through the water and their back legs to steer. [photo]
Polar bears from the Danish zoo. Mom and 4 months old cub take their first swim together. All photos by (HENNING BAGGER / AFP / Getty Images) :)
Enough to go around? | Polar bears dine on the severed head of a bowhead whale in Kaktovik, Alaska, on September 7. Left behind by traditional Inupiat hunters, whale remains this year attracted up to 80 bears a day to the village—a record, according to the Alaska Dispatch news site.- via National Geographic
boing boing boing
what a beautiful place.
the affect of climate change means more people can visit, but that is not necessarily a good thing.
French photographer Samuel Blanc has been leading tours to Svalbard, Norway’s archipelago in the Arctic, since 2007.
Climate change is having a direct impact on the unique ecosystem isolated on these islands more than 400 miles north of Europe.
This year the reduced sea ice allowed his expedition aboard the 12-passenger Polaris to circumnavigate the northern islands in early July rather than mid-August.
The Obama administration today gave Shell Oil the initial approval to begin controversial and dangerous oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean off Alaska, despite the fact that a critical oil-spill containment vessel is still awaiting certification in Bellingham, Wash. Until now, the Arctic Ocean has largely been off limits to offshore drilling. Shell Oil is expected to begin the initial phases of exploratory drilling in the Chukchi Sea as soon as it can get its drillship in place, in the heart of habitat critical to the survival of polar bears.
“By opening the Arctic to offshore oil drilling, President Obama has made a monumental mistake that puts human life, wildlife and the environment in terrible danger. The harsh and frozen conditions of the Arctic make drilling risky, and an oil spill would be impossible to clean up,” said Rebecca Noblin, Alaska director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Scariest of all, the Obama administration is allowing Shell to go forward without even having the promised oil-spill containment equipment in place.”
swimming and hiding