“Saving the White Beast”
The Polar Bear males can measure up to nine feet long, and can weigh 770-1430 lbs. The fur of the Polar Bear covers their entire body except their nose and pads of their feet. The Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus) is the largest living carnivore on the planet earth. (National Parks Service).
The polar bear lives in a small place on the top of the globe called the Arctic Circle. At an average the polar bears have about five million square miles of living space. The Polar ears have gotten close to 150 ft. from the North Pole. (WWF 1). These white creatures do not hibernate in the winter like other bears, instead they hunt. The bears main diet is the ringed and bearded seal. These bears have a great sense of smell. They can smell seals kilometers away, and detect one under three feet of snow. This helps them find the food they need during winter months when the seals migrate south to get warm. The bears are patient when it comes to food. They need two kilograms of fat a day to survive. A seal can provide five days worth of food. If the bears are starving they eat the whole seal; otherwise, they just eat the blubber and entrails for protein (National Parks Service).
The bears live in Canada or above. They rarely go below Canada since it is too warm there. The giant bears have thick white fur, which helps the bear survive the cold, and it has a thick layer of blubber all around its body where it stores up food when needed. They can go with out food for 2 weeks if necessary (Larsen 7).
Their fur is what helps retain the heat inside their bodies. The fur looks white but it is actually clear colored. The sun shines through the clear fur to the bear’s black skin, which absorbs the heat and retains it. Actually it does such a good job that the bears have to jump in icy water, and even roll in the snow to cool off. Fredtjoj Nansen gives this description of the polar bear, “Elegant body, big neck, small head, and short ears give it a ferocious look” (6).
When its time for the bears to reproduce, the male approaches the female. The males have many mates in their lifetime. When the females are pregnant, they dig a den in which they stay until after pregnancy for a while with the bears can survive the cold. The mothers live off their body fat to make milk and live since they cannot leave the den (WWF 2). The mother actually spends a period of three months in the den while pregnant. The cubs, after birth, spend three years before they go out on their own into the ice world. Males do not do anything with cubs only mothers do (National Park Service).
Five nations, the United States, Canada, Denmark, Norway, and the Soviet Union, got together and decided that they were going to find out the status on how many bears are still left. What they found was that the once “invincible bear” would go extinct in a matter of ten years if nothing was done to protect them (Larsen 5). The nations thought the bears moved around the North Pole, but they generally stay in the same area during their life. The Soviets had protected their own polar bears since 1956. They believed they had 5,000 to 10,000 bears, though didn’t know thousands of them were being hunted and killed each winter. Everyone was in shock when they found out how many bears there were actually (8).
When the nations found out their dilemma they wanted to find more information on the polar bear. They went out and tried to tag the bears which was hard cause they were so giant. Tranquilizers barely worked cause they animals were so big. They had to get a ship and hoist the bears in and tag them. After they released the bears a year later they found out that 32 out of 103 bears were killed. All Arctic nations argued to save the polar bear.
Norway held a conference to have all the nations to get involved in saving the polar bear from extinction (9).The nations started using their satellites to track the bears from their office. Now they can study where they go and where they stay. The Polar Bear now has been climbing from being endangered specie thanks to the help of the five Arctic Nations. Regardless of political differences, the five nations contributed scientists to help and learn more about the bears. (IUCM) Institute Union for Conservation and Nature and Natural resources (Thor 8).
With the help from the nations the bears now are safe and living and not endangered anymore. We can keep it this way if our nations work together we can keep the polar bear safe for life and generations to come.