July 8, 2007
A young polar bear comes to the edge of an ice floe and stops to ponder whether or not to attempt the jump across open water to the next floe.
Is the distance too far? Can I make it? Will the ice hold me? You can see the concentration on her face as she ponders the jump...
Everything looks good and the young bear decides to GO FOR IT!
OH NO! The ice floe she was pushing off from has broken off before the bear can leave it. Her back legs are sinking into the chilly water before the leap is complete! She is FALLING...
! I can almost hear her exhale as she hits hard on the far floe, not the clean landing I am sure she intended!
! She has to pull herself up out of the water and onto the floe!
! Hey, look how cool I am! I MEANT to do that all along!
While it is fun to be anthropomorphic in this little episode in the life of a polar bear, it does get me thinking about the fate of these magnificent animals. Will ice floes continue to get smaller, weaker, and further apart? Will our little bear grow up with plenty of ice floes to allow her to continue to hunt for seals? Today (October 7th, 2007) USA TODAY reports that walrus in Alaska are beaching themselves as the lowest summer ice cap on record put sea ice far north of the outer continental shelf. Perhaps the fabled northwest passage will be ice-free by the year 2030. What will become of our little ice bear without ice to rest, hunt, and live on? As the polar ice caps shrink, the habitat for both bears and walrus will diminish. A world without either is a very sobering thought, especially at 12:24 AM in the middle of the Sonoran desert (where I am writing this post from.) It seems that the future may become unbearable...
Comments? Concerns? I would love to hear your thoughts. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org