Cannibalistic Polar Bears

Polar bear walking in the arctic looking for some food to eat.

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Polar bear walking in the arctic looking for some food to eat.

As many people know, climate change is taking a significant toll on polar bears, but recently it has made them turn to cannibalism. Polar bears are a type of bear that live within the Arctic Circle, encompassing the Arctic ocean. The polar bear is a large bear that is also hyper carnivorous. Hypercarnivorous is a type of diet that includes 30% non-animal foods such as fungi or fruits. The rest of the meal consists of mostly meat, which has now come down to their own kind. Today there are only 22,00 to 31,000 polar bears in the world, which may sound like a lot, but is actually a small number.

 

Cannibalism is the act of eating another individual from the same species. Although eating animals from their own species is not unusual, cannibalism only occurs at the worst times. In the world’s history, cannibalism has happened usually in times of famine. An example of this is when Egypt was under Roman rule in Medieval times, and a famine came along. The peasants, or anybody that couldn’t afford enough food, turned to eating the people that had already died. Although this is a rather gross alternative, it was the only way these people could stay alive. This is what happens with the polar bears. The only way they can stay alive is by eating each other, even if it is committing cannibalism.   

 

In the colder months, the polar bears can survive since the ice is cold and stays connected, but as the months get warmer, the polar bears are faced with a challenge. In the cold months, the seals lay out all over the ice letting the polar bears get by. As the weather gets colder, the ice melts away, and the few slivers that are left float out of reach. This lets the seals swim deeper into the sea or swim north. Either way, the seals escape the grasp of polar bears. This significant turn of the season leaves the polar bears to themselves and makes them turn to an unusual meal. Before climate change became a problem the ice used to stay as big pieces in the warmer months which let the polar bears continue to eat seals or even fish but now it is making the weather warmer which causes the ice to barely become a thick enough layer for winter months let alone the summer months.

 

Climate change is causing the polar bear’s diet to veer in a problematic direction that is not in their favor.