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If You Don't Believe In Climate Change, Watch This Eye-Opening Video Of A Starving Polar Bear
It is nearly impossible to not cry watching this...
D.G. Sciortino
12.15.17

We’ve all seen that Sarah McLachlan ASPCA commercial where her song “Angel” plays in the background as sad looking abused animals flash across your screen. And we’ve all cried like babies when we’ve seen it.

Even Sarah McLachlan cries when she sees that commercial.

Well, a recent National Geographic video about polar bears will make you cry just as hard. It shows an emaciated polar bear that is on the verge of death and trekking through unfamiliar habitat just to find something to eat as melancholy music plays in the background.

But the purpose of the video isn’t just to make you feel bad for the hungry and mangy-looking polar bear, it’s an eye-opening reminder of the effects of climate change.

National Geographic Video Screenshot
Source:
National Geographic Video Screenshot

“This is what climate change looks like,” the video begins.

The footage was shot by filmmakers accompanying National Geographic photographer Paul Nicklen from the conservation group Sea Legacy when he was on an expedition in the Baffin Islands in the late summer.

It was there that they spotted the poor beast.

“We stood there crying—filming with tears rolling down our cheeks,” Nicklen told National Geographic.

The polar bear’s body was thin and bony as he dragged one of his back legs behind him. He can be seen rummaging through a trash can to find food and later lying on the ground from exhaustion. Nicklen said it was one of the saddest sights he’s ever seen in the wild and National Geographic blames it all on climate change.

National Geographic Video Screenshot
Source:
National Geographic Video Screenshot

“As temperatures rise and sea ice melts, polar bears lose access to the main staple of their diet … seals,” the video states. “Starving and running out of energy, they are forced to wander into human settlements for any source of food.”

Many people who saw the video asked why Nicklen didn’t intervene.

“Of course, that crossed my mind,” said Nicklen. “But it’s not like I walk around with a tranquilizer gun or 400 pounds of seal meat.”

Nicklen said he would have just prolonged the bear’s suffering. He also could have gotten in trouble for it since feeding polar bears is illegal in Canada. It was assumed that the bear would have only had a few more hours to live.

National Geographic Video Screenshot
Source:
National Geographic Video Screenshot

“When scientists say bears are going extinct, I want people to realize what it looks like. Bears are going to starve to death,” said Nicklen. “This is what a starving bear looks like.”

Scientists estimated as early as 2002 that climate change would eventually lead to the extinction of polar bears. And the situation is only getting worse.

Watch the tragic video below.

"We stood there crying—filming with tears rolling down our cheeks," says photographer Paul Nicklen.

Posted by National Geographic on Friday, December 8, 2017

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By D.G. Sciortino
hi@sbly.com
D.G. is a contributing writer in Shareably. She's based in Connecticut and can be reached at hi@shareably.net.
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