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Thread: Polar bear stands to attention for camera

  1. #1
    Elite Member Honey's Avatar
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    Default Polar bear stands to attention for camera

    Rearing up on her hind legs and with impressive paws on display, she stands in magnificent isolation on the sea ice.
    Yet this female polar bear is unlikely to be lonely - for she lives in one of the few places on earth where her kind are thriving.
    While global warming is said to threaten polar bears in most parts of the world, those in the Svalbard archipelago in Norway are actually increasing in number.


    Awesome: The inquisitive polar bear rearing rears up on hind legs to scout her surroundings

    They are thought to be one of only two growing polar bear populations in the world.
    Their success has been put down to a ban on hunting both the themselves and their prey - even though, as in other polar bear habitats, the sea ice on which they hunt is melting away.
    Queen of all she surveys on the icy tundra, this female polar bear suddenly spots a stranger.
    Looking almost human as she stands on her back legs, she comes closer to have a look. But as she pads up to the photographer, he wisely keeps his distance.
    They may look cuddly, but polar bears are highly specialised killing machines capable of swallowing 100lb of meat in a single meal.
    Rearing up on her hind legs and with impressive paws on display, she stands in magnificent isolation on the sea ice.

    Yet this female polar bear is unlikely to be lonely - for she lives in one of the few places on earth where her kind are thriving.

    While global warming is said to threaten polar bears in most parts of the world, those in the Svalbard archipelago in Norway are actually increasing in number.
    They are thought to be one of only two growing polar bear populations in the world.
    Their success has been put down to a ban on hunting both the Inquisitive bears themselves and their prey --even though, as in other polar bear habitats, the sea ice on which they hunt is melting away.

    Standing proud: A female polar bear rears up on her mighty back legs on ice at Svalbard archipelego, Norway

    Marine mammal expert Dr Tom Arnbom, from Stockholm, said: 'There are 19 populations of polar bears on the planet.
    'At present we know that eight are decreasing, three are stable, seven we are not sure about, and the only one we know for sure that is growing is in Canada.
    'But it is my personal opinion that the bear numbers in Svalbard are increasing.'
    They can smell a seal 20 miles away and smash through yards of ice in minutes to reach their prey.
    Fortunately for wildlife photographer Steve Kaslowski, the young female quickly lost interest after sniffing his camera.
    He said: ‘She was a young adolescent and they always seem to be more inquisitive than some of the older bears who know to avoid humans.
    ‘She kept rearing up on her hind legs and sniffing at us. She was really investigating and trying to work out what we were doing there.
    'She came very close but then bounded off to chase seals.'
    Mr Kaslowski, 40, shot the pictures during an expedition to Norway's remote Svalbard archipelago last month.
    And despite global warming threatening other polar bear groups around the world, a marine mammal expert believes the bears pictured here provide evidence that Svalbard's polar bear population is on the increase.

    Enlarge
    Feeding time: This incredible picture shows two polar bears fighting over a whale carcass in Svalbard

    Across the globe ice caps have been forming perilously late over recent years, causing the bears to wait longer and longer for the sea to freeze over so they can start hunting seals, their main food source, and replenish lost pounds.
    This has resulted in many drowning as they struggled to swim the ever-increasing distances to the ice floes or starving to death.
    But in Norway, strict hunting bans have been enforced on both the bears and their prey.
    So even though their hunting ground may be disappearing, their food supply is much more plentiful.
    Marine mammal expert and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) spokesperson, Dr Tom Arnbom, 50, from Stockholm, Sweden, thinks the Svalbard bears could be one of only two growing populations in the world.
    He said: ‘There are 19 populations of polar bears on the planet. At present we know that eight are decreasing, three are stable, seven we are not sure about, and the only one we know for sure that is growing is in Canada.


    Enlarge
    What are you looking at? An inquisitive polar bear scouts her surroundings

    Enlarge
    Food fight: Four of the bears sort out their differences as they feast on the whale carcass
    ‘But it is my personal opinion that the bear numbers in Svalbard are increasing. ‘Compared with the last 20 years we are getting many more reports of sightings and it could be a sign that their numbers are up.
    ‘The difficulty is that monitoring populations is extremely difficult because they are very hard to find and very expensive to follow so it is difficult to get hard data.
    ‘But the signs are that there are more of them in Svalbard than we have seen over the last few years.’
    Despite rapidly shrinking sea-ice - the bear's summer hunting ground – Dr Arnbom, who has been visiting the region for several years, thinks a ban on hunting bears and their prey may be causing their number to increase.
    ‘There is no doubt the sea-ice is shrinking,’ he said.
    ‘Data suggests global temperatures around the world have increased by 0.7 degrees (Celsius) on average and the rise could be even greater in the Arctic at two degrees.
    ‘But while their hunting ground is shrinking, Norway has enforced strict hunting bans on the bears and some of their prey since the 1970s.
    ‘Walrus numbers are up since the ban on their hunting in 1952 and it could be the reason we are seeing more bears. There is more prey.’
    Photographer Mr Kaslowski, from Seattle in the USA, spent six weeks in his live-aboard yacht navigating hazardous ice channels which had opened up between warming sheets of ice.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1211699/Why-frosty-look-Polar-bears-defiant-stand-growing-Arctic-community.html#ixzz0QTZ5YAUo

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    Elite Member Nightdragon's Avatar
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    I love polar bears. My neighnor used to live in Churchill, MB up north and told me lots of stories about Polar bears coming right into town.
    Act normal and the crowd will accept you. Act deranged and they will make you their leader

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    Elite Member Brookie's Avatar
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    They are magnificent animals.

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    She is one big girl.

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    Elite Member Karistiona's Avatar
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    I so thought this thread was gonna be about polar bear boners. I feel like a dirty, dirty woman.
    I smile because I have no idea what's going on

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    Elite Member shedevilang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by karistiona View Post
    I so thought this thread was gonna be about polar bear boners. I feel like a dirty, dirty woman.
    Silly bitches, twitchy links are NOT for kids!-Mel

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    Elite Member Nightdragon's Avatar
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    I saw on tv one time they have bones in thier...er...um...you know...wangs
    Act normal and the crowd will accept you. Act deranged and they will make you their leader

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