Polar Bears Are Suffering Because Of Climate Change, And They Need Your Help

Courtesy Explore.org

This week, November 1–7, is Polar Bear Week.

It’s when Explore.org teams up with Frontiers North Adventures and Polar Bears International to raise awareness about the dire straits the majestic, white bears are facing. Climate change is affecting the polar bear population at Earth’s southernmost point in a hugely negative way.

While polar bears might not be the first thing on everyone’s mind on a daily basis, it’s important to give them the recognition they deserve for being truly beautiful, irreplaceable creatures. Here’s what you should know about how they’re being pushed towards extinction.

Since satellite tracking began in 1979, the Arctic has lost roughly 40% of its summer sea ice.

This is a loss slightly larger than all the land east of the Mississippi in the United States.

Courtesy Explore.org

Sea ice is a crucial part of the Arctic ecosystem.

Courtesy Explore.org

Polar bears rely on sea ice for catching their prey. Without it, the bears can’t survive.

Courtesy Explore.org

The polar bear’s main prey, ringed seals, rely on sea ice, too – for giving birth to and raising their young.

Arctic sea ice is also important to our global climate.

The Arctic is called Earth’s air conditioner because the ice helps cool the planet by reflecting the sun’s light and heat back into space.

Courtesy Explore.org / Erica E. Wills

Less sea ice means a warmer planet and more extreme weather events.

Courtesy Explore.org

That’s not good for the polar bears or for us.

Without action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions…

The probability of ice-free summers in the Arctic increases significantly from the middle to the end of this century.

Courtesy Explore.org

As the sea ice disappears, this is what will happen to the polar bears:

Courtesy Explore.org

They’ll have reduced access to food, they will experience a drop in body condition, lower cub survival rates, an increase in drowning, an increase in cannibalism, and a loss of access to denning areas.

While this little guy is being modest…he really does need your help.

Courtesy Explore.org

It’s so incredibly important to keep these amazing creatures alive.

Courtesy Explore.org

We need to do everything we can to raise awareness about climate change and the effect it’s having on our polar bears.

You can watch a live feed from Churchill, Manitoba, where you could catch some polar bears at the water’s edge, or get more vantage points on the website.

While top scientists collaborate in Canada this week, sharing this information and educating the public on the truth and urgency surrounding climate change and polar bears, the best thing you can do is to spread the word as far and wide as you can, too. Knowledge is power, and the more people who know about the status of our melting sea ice, the more people will be inclined to help.

The other best thing to do is donate to help support critical polar bear research, education, and outreach efforts!

Source: http://www.viralnova.com

Angry bear charging a car is a good reminder never to mess with bears

Even from the safety of your vehicle, a charging bear is nothing to mess with.

Cody Kunau and his friend Samantha were driving to the Yakutat Lodge in Alaska for dinner when they encountered a large grizzly bear on the side of the road. As they approached the animal, it quickly scurried across the road and into the woods.

“This is a somewhat normal occurrence for here,” Kunau wrote. “Usually, the bears run off and catching a close up glimpse is hard. We slowed our vehicle down to where we saw the bear cross the road when suddenly it erupted from the bushes and came after our vehicle.”

The bear charged the car, following as the two pulled away in a hurry.

“Holy fuck, we just got charged by a bear,” Kunau can be heard saying in the clip.

The two were unable to find anything that would agitate the bear in the area, so they continued to the lodge where they warned locals of the really angry bear down the road.

Source: http://mashable.com/

Guy decides to use his drone for one important job: flying a big stuffed bear around

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It’s bird, it’s a plane, it’s a big flying… bear?

Hunter Clearly (@Cyranek_ ) found the best way to use his new DJI Mavic Pro drone by flying a plush bear (known as the Tiny Headed Kingdom Bear, but to Clearly, simply Bart) across the sky. 

Just imagine the horror and confusion on neighbors’ faces. The perfect writing inspiration for the next season of Black Mirror

“I got curious as to how much weight the drone could carry. Googled and found out it could lift two pounds,” said the 19 year old to Mashable. “Me and my roommates were looking around for something to lift, saw the bear. We weighed the bear and found out it was a perfect two pounds.”

And up the bear went. 

Of course, that small-headed bear elicited some pretty choice reactions from a bewildered internet.

The tweet already has over 2,000 retweets and 6,000 likes. Although the bear didn’t stay in the air for too long, it was still a great experiment for Clearly. 

“My job is to make content for the internet so I was hoping it would get shared around,” said Clearly. “I’ve never seen any of my posts blow up this fast though. Definitely made my day waking up in the morning to 1000+ notifications.”

He’s still interested in trying other weird objects and scaring the hell out his neighborhood. 

Source: http://mashable.com/

If Youve Never Seen How Fast Bears Can Climb Trees You Need to See This

In this incredible footage we see a black bear sow (the species comes in a variety of colours) fiercely protecting her cub as she chases a jet black boar up a tall pine tree.

The action begins when the sow gets a scent of the nearby boar and immediately sprints down a steep hill to chase the threat away. The speed at which both bears scale the tree is astonishing.

Source: http://twistedsifter.com/

Bear on couch too damn chill to eat you

Image: courtesy of mandy stantic

Bears don’t have any interest in your miserable standing desks, thank you very much.

Mandy Stantic was visiting a garbage dump in Northern Manitoba last spring when she came upon a black bear sitting on a discarded sofa. Stantic, whose photos just recently went viral, had specifically driven to the dump with her daughter to see the dump (god bless Canadian road trips) when she discovered the bear just lounging.

“The bears are always very active at the dump. This one must have been in the mood to relax after eating his full and climbed up on the couch to get comfortable,” Stantic told Mashable

“Not unusual to see bears at the dump, but to see one sitting just casual like a human was pretty unique and I had to take a picture.”

Image: courtesy of mandy stantic

According to Stantic, the dump is a common hang out spot for the area’s local bears. What it lacks in greenery and pleasant odors it more than makes up for in bears lounging on La-Z-Bears.

All this bear needs is a lava lamp and some frozen pizza to become its spirit human, Al Bundy. 

Source: http://mashable.com/

When Her Baby Falls In The Water, Momma Bear Rushes To Save The Day

Milk is an adorable baby polar bear living at the Oga Aquarium Gao with her mom, Walnut, in Japan. Unfortunately, like a lot of four-month-old kiddos, Milk is also pretty darn clumsy.

The silly little girl slips right into the water as she tries to innocently play in the nearby snow. Since she hasn’t quite learned to swim yet, her mom quickly rushes to help bring her back to dry land. Thank goodness Milk can always count on momma to have her back!

“Oh, crap, not again.”

Maybe mom should start the swimming lessons early for this little one. I’m sure you’ll get the hang of it in no time, Milk.

Source: http://www.viralnova.com

10 Things You Didnt Know About the Rare and Elusive Spirit Bear

1. The Spirit or Kermode Bear is a rare subspecies of the American black bear living in the Central and North Coast regions of British Columbia, Canada. [source]

2. The colour is due to a double recessive gene unique in the subspecies (Ursus americanus kermodei). They are not albinos, they are white-furred black bears. [Source]

3. Fewer than 400 Spirit/Kermode bears are estimated to exist in the coast area that stretches from Southeast Alaska southwards to the northern tip of Vancouver Island; about 120 inhabit the large Princess and Prince Royal Island. The largest concentration of the white bears inhabits 80-square-mile Gribbell Island, in the territory of the Gitga’at. [Source]

Photograph by Maximilian Helm

4. Like most black bears, the Spirit Bear only weighs about half a pound at birth! [Source]

5. A male Spirit bear can reach 225 kg (500 lb) or more, females are much smaller with a maximum weight of 135 kg (300 lb). Straight up, it stands 180 cm (5′ 11″) tall. [Source]

6. They are known to run up to 55 km an hour! [Source]

Photograph by Maximilian Helm

7. The bear was named after Francis Kermode, a former director of the Royal B.C. Museum. He was among the first to discover the furry fellows. [Source]

8. Being omnivores, they mostly live on fish and berries, but also eat deer and moose fawns, carrion, insects, plants, fruits, nuts, mushrooms and nuts. They depend on salmon runs in the fall to fatten themselves up for the long winter hibernation, where they can go without food for up to 7 months. [Source]

9. Scientists have found that black bears are not as effective at catching fish as white bears, as the white bears are less visible from the perspective of the fish. At night, the two colours of bears have similar success rates at catching fish, but during the day, the white bears are up to 30% more effective. [Source]

10. The Spirit/Kermode Bear is the official provincial mammal of British Columbia, Canada. [Source]

Photograph by Jon Rawlinson


BC Spirit Bear: Spirit Bear Facts
Wikipedia: Kermode Bear
Canadian Geographic: Animal Facts – Kermode bear
Smithsonian: This Rare, White Bear May Be the Key to Saving a Canadian Rainforest

Photograph by Jackmont

Source: http://twistedsifter.com/

Lions, Tigers, Bears…Oh Really! This Sanctuary Rescues Them All From Abuse

With so many house pets entering animal rescues every year, it’s easy to forget about their wilder cousins.

It’s not just cruel hunting practices that endanger our wildlife, though. People illegally take them in as pets, abuse them in circus acts, and trade them in the exotic animal market. In fact, this very live underground currency is the third largest source of illegal profits in the world!

That’s where The Wild Animal Sanctuary aims to help. Founded in 1980, today, it’s the oldest and largest sanctuary in the world devoted to rescuing captive exotic and endangered large carnivores. More than 400 lions, tigers, bears, wolves, and others call the Colorado shelter home.

The Wild Animal Sanctuary (TWAS) rescues exotic animals from around the country and world.

They’re victims of abuse in shopping malls, used as attractions in amusement parks, held as pets by people who don’t know how to care for them, and even taken from drug dealers.

Once at TWAS, they’re given top-notch veterinary care to assess their mental and physical health.

Most face years of recovery for the emotional scars left behind long after their external wounds heal.

But with over 720 acres, the animals finally have plenty of space to run, play, sleep, and interact with new friends.

Every animal has its own heartbreaking story…Mary Jane was a truck stop attraction in Texas. Her cubs “were sold to motorists who stopped to get gas.”

Yukon is a tundra wolf who was kept in an Iowa mall as an “educational” display. He was thankfully rescued and placed in the hands of the professionals at TWAS.

Amazingly, though, many of the animals are rescued from more credible zoos, where they’re set to be euthanized because of overcrowding or other sad reasons.

In addition to the wide open grasslands of the sanctuary, there are also lakes and ponds for the animals to explore.

Learn more about TWAS here:

This truly is a magical place.

If you’d like to visit, you can walk along the enclosures and see the animals enjoying life up-close! Please also consider contributing to their wonderful cause, be it through “adopting” one of the animals or donating.

Source: http://www.viralnova.com

15+ Dogs That Look Like Teddy Bears

Puppies are cute, and bear cubs are cute, but puppies that look like bear cubs are the cutest of them all. Some time ago we posted a list of these adorable creatures, and the response was overwhelmingwe had no idea that there were so many teddy bear pups out there?

As a new year’s treat, we’ve gathered the top images submitted by pandas like you, and made a new, mega list! Which puppy teddy bear do you think is the cutest? Do you have a puffy pooch at home that you want to share with the world? Vote and submit your photos below!

Source: http://www.boredpanda.com/

Huge bear surprises mountain bikers on a trail

A few mountain bikers had an unwelcome guest briefly joint their downhill run at the Malin Brdo in Slovakia recently.

YouTuber Dusan Vink was following his friend down the mountain when a huge brown bear jumps in front of Vink and starts to charge his buddy. Vink screams to alert his friend of the bear that’s following him and the bear cuts off trail.

The biker in front stops, which was probably a good idea considering the trail ahead had a switchback, which would have put the bikers right in the path of the bear after it cut off trail.

It’s unclear what made the bear end its chase, but it was likely a combination of multiple bikers and Vink’s yelling that scared the bear back into the woods.

Source: http://mashable.com/

People are outraged that a zoo’s skeletal sun bears are starving and begging for food

Image: scorpion Wildlife Trade Monitoring Group/ youtube

Warning: This post contains graphic and upsetting videos.

Gaunt sun bears in an Indonesia zoo, so hungry they’ve taken to begging visitors for food and eating their own faeces, have been captured on video by animal rights activists.

Footage shot by the Scorpion Wildlife Trade Monitoring Group showed several emaciated bears at a zoo in the Indonesian city of Bandung.

While bears in enclosures very rarely beg for food, you can see the bears rushing for pieces of fruit thrown in, and begging visitors for more.

Another video also showed a bear eating its own faeces.

“The bears are kept in a concrete cage and no grass. [There is] nothing natural, it is all very cruel”, Marison Guciano, senior investigator of the Scorpion Foundation told Mashable.

The group has been sending investigators down to the zoo from mid-last year to monitor the bears’ habitat.

Guciano added: “[It is] one of the worst zoos in all of Indonesia. Maybe it would be best if this place was closed down now, before more animals die a painful and avoidable death.”

The Bandung zoo was also implicated in an alleged case of neglect last year, when its endangered Sumatran elephant died after it fell ill.

After the bears’ videos went viral, a petition looking to shut the zoo down was started, and has reached over 200,000 signatures.

A sun bear at Sydney’s Taronga zoo

Image: Getty Images

Visitors have left numerous critical comments on the zoo’s TripAdvisor page, with many accusing the zoo of neglect.

“I could not believe how disgusting and unclean this place was,” said a commenter. “The animals are poorly maintained, underfed and generally ignored.”

“Rusty cages, dirty place and really neglected animals. Some of them are very thin. Hell on earth for all these poor animals”, said another review.

Sun bears as typically found in forest habitats in Southeast Asia and have been classified as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

The Bandung zoo is not the first in Indonesia to be called out for its poor conditions, with another zoo in the city of Surabaya having been dubbed the “Zoo of Death”.

BONUS: NBD, just a massive alligator out for a stroll

Source: http://mashable.com/

Canadian Photographer Captures Polar Bears Playing In Flower Fields

We rarely see polar bears outside of a snowy Arctic environment, but these bears are no strangers to having fun in the summer! In a rare series of images by Canadian photographer Dennis Fast, these white giants are seen frolicking in a field of fireweed. The photos were taken in Northern Canada’s Hudson Bay, near lodges run by Churchill Wild in Manitoba. Fast explains his fascination with polar bears in this interview excerpt.

“[I]t’s not just their colour that makes them a favourite target of my camera,” Fast tells My Modern Met. “They have a slow, ambling gait as they drift about looking for anything that moves. It looks like they don’t have a care in the world, and that there is nothing they are afraid off. It’s not arrogance, exactly, but a quiet confidence that we often respect in humans and that translates well to the polar bear.”

“Most people are familiar with shots of polar bears in the ice and snow of Hudson Bay in Northern Canada and in other polar regions”