Devastating footage of a starving polar bear is causing international alarm across social media channels. The sickening image demonstrates the urgent need to make changes and implement solutions to address climate change, in order to lessen the impact it will have on the Earth.
Sea Legacy, a collective of filmmakers and photographers, are on a mission to create healthy and abundant oceans. This summer they sent an expedition to the Canadian Baffin Islands, where they encountered a polar bear. Unfortunately, this once majestic and powerful creature was gaunt and frail, close to death from hunger. Paul Nicklen, the researcher who captured the video, lamented in an Instagram post that “This is what starvation looks like. The muscles atrophy. No energy. It’s a slow, painful death.”
The footage of the bear is heartbreaking. Although it seems unreal, researchers pointed out in 2015 that there is a high probability that polar bear populations will decrease by nearly a third by 2050 because of sea ice melting. Another threat polar bears face from climate change is increased winds, which makes it harder for bears to use their sense of smell to hunt.