Polar Bears Need Help
Everyone loves bears. Cuddly, fat, chubby, soft bears. Maybe it stems back to when we were young, and for Christmas we received that big cute teddy bear with a bow around its neck. We would sleep with it every single night. It brought a sense of security, like a blanket.
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Bears fascinate even grownups. Humans will even go long distances in cruise ships in icy cold weather to merely catch a glimpse of these magnificent creatures. It is a fact that polar bear tourism is booming in Alaska as of late. They have several polar bear tours that take tourists out on boats to look for polar bears.
The ultimate trip would include seeing a mother with her two cubs, as long as it wasn’t too close. Unfortunately, the polar bears are a threatened species, and it has been estimated that they may be extinct in less than a half century.
Could it be that the curiosity of the tourists may indeed accelerate their extinction? Some people think they would like to see them before they are all gone. The native people need the jobs that the increased interest in the bears has created. But will these increased polar bear tours jeopardize the bear’s lives?
Local residents and tourism officials are addressing concerns about watching these polar bears without affecting their safety and livelihood. Officials collaborate with locals who have lived around the bears all of their lives. Their knowledge and experience with the bears is invaluable in their continued protection.
Polar bears mostly eat whales, another species that was on the extinction list, but have recently been taken off. Hopefully we will be able to say the same thing about the polar bears too, but if global warming continues and human activities continue to grow, they may not be so lucky.
Only by going to the icy cold of the north that lasts nearly all year, can you see the polar bears in their natural habitat. It has been said that if polar bears diminish, it will be a huge warning sign that the human family too may be in imminent danger.
Is it worth it to have a close encounter with a polar bear? From the increased bookings on arctic cruises and polar bear tours, many people think so. In areas where the population of polar bears has stayed pretty steady, the bear’s body condition and survival rates have declined.
With less ice, some of the polar bears are adapting to the warmer climates, but they prefer colder areas. Also, the movement of the polar bears closer to communities has resulted in a greater danger to children and the community. Because the polar bears are hungry, they will go wherever they can find food. And, in doing so they risk being shot as community members try to protect family and property. Should we stop these polar bear tours? That is a question that begs to be answered.
- Arctic Travel, Past and Present - Polar Bear Tours
Polar bears are one of the most impressive and effective of the large predators.Their range is slowly being eroded by global warming, and some feel they are next for the endangered species list. Until recently though, any kind of encounter with these
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