Source: National Geographic
A heart-wrenching image of a starving polar bear is a sobering reminder of the effects of climate change. DPG member and National Geographic photographer Paul Nicklen helped to capture the image on Canada’s Baffin Island.
Nicklen, a famed underwater photojournalist, has seen more than 3,000 polar bears during his career. But this particular subject was so emotionally devastating that it moved the photographer to tears. “We stood there crying—filming with tears rolling down our cheeks,” Nicklen shared in an article on National Geographic.
Nicklen joined other filmmakers on behalf of the conservation group Sea Legacy. The team wanted to create visually compelling images to remind the public of the threats facing the marine environment—and did they ever deliver. “When scientists say bears are going extinct, I want people to realize what it looks like. Bears are going to starve to death,” Nicklen said. “This is what a starving bear looks like.”
Loss of sea ice makes it more difficult for polar bears to find their main food source: massive seals. During the summer, the bears can go months without food, while they wait for the ice to form. Unfortunately, the period without sea ice—and without sunning seals—is causing increased starvation.
Learn more about the story behind the shot, here.
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