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Photos: Polar Bears Turn To Cannibalism

From the UK’s Telegraph:

[Reuters caption:] A male polar bear cannabalizes a polar bear cub in an area about 300km (186 miles) north of the Canadian town of Churchill in this picture taken November 20, 2009.

Starving polar bears turn to cannibalism

New pictures show that polar bears are beginning to cannibalise each other as global warming destroys its hunting grounds.

By Jonathan Liew
08 Dec 2009

The images, taken in Hudson Bay, Canada, around 200 miles north of the town of Churchill, Manitoba, show a male polar bear carrying the bloodied head of a polar bear cub it has killed for food.

Polar bears usually subsist on seals, which they hunt from a platform of sea ice. But the melting of sea ice as a result of rising global temperatures has made it more difficult for polar bears to hunt seals at sea, confining the bears to land.

This has led to malnourishment and starvation as polar bears are unable to build sufficient fat reserves for winter.

Drowning is also more common as bears are forced to swim further out to sea to find food.

The images add to the evidence that polar bears are increasingly hunting each other for food in their desperation to survive.

Manitoba Conservation normally receive one to two reports of bear cannibalisation annually, but scientists say they are aware of eight cases so far this year.

Last month tourists on a guided tour of the area were reported to be distressed after witnessing a male bear eating a cub.

The release of the images comes as world leaders gather in Copenhagen for the United Nations Climate Change Conference.

Mind you, this whole article is based on a few photographs. (Not unlike the claims about polar bears being adrift on icebergs was based on the bogus interpretation of a photo.)

There are surely any number of reasons for polar bears to attack each other. Anybody who watches nature shows knows that male polar bear are well known for eating their young, if given half a chance.

Maybe they should talk to Ms. Palin if they want to learn about polar bear habits.

But why bother with such details when you’ve got a global warming summit to whip up?

Say, maybe we should put our people out on the ice floes to keep the polar bears from starving.

It would be a win-win for the left.

For the record this is seems to be an old story.

From the 2006 archives of the Associated Press:

Is climate turning polar bears into cannibals?

U.S. and Canadian scientists report kills linked to shrinking ice

Dan Joling in Anchorage, Alaska

June 13, 2006

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP)—Polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea may be turning to cannibalism because longer seasons without ice keep them from getting to their natural food, a new study by American and Canadian scientists has found.

The study reviewed three examples of polar bears preying on each other from January to April 2004 north of Alaska and western Canada, including the first-ever reported killing of a female in a den shortly after it gave birth. Polar bears feed primarily on ringed seals and use sea ice for feeding, mating and giving birth.

Polar bears kill each other for population regulation, dominance, and reproductive advantage, the study said. Killing for food seems to be less common, said the study’s principal author, Steven Amstrup of the U.S. Geological Survey Alaska Science Center.

"During 24 years of research on polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea region of northern Alaska and 34 years in northwestern Canada, we have not seen other incidents of polar bears stalking, killing, and eating other polar bears,” the scientists said.

Environmentalists contend shrinking polar ice due to global warming may lead to the disappearance of polar bears before the end of the century.

The Center for Biological Diversity of Joshua Tree, Calif., in February 2005 petitioned the federal government to list polar bears as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act.

Cannibalism demonstrates the effect on bears, said Kassie Siegal, lead author of the petition.

"It’s very important new information,” she said. "It shows in a really graphic way how severe the problem of global warming is for polar bears.”

Deborah Williams of Alaska Conservation Solutions, a group aimed at pursuing solutions for climate change, said the study represents the "bloody fingerprints” of global warming.

"This is not a Coca-Cola commercial,” she said, referring to animated polar bears used in advertising for the soft drink giant. "This represents the brutal downside of global warming.”

The predation study was published in an online version of the journal Polar Biology on April 27. Amstrup said print publication will follow.

Researchers in spring 2004 found more bears in the eastern portion of the Alaska Beaufort Sea to be in poorer condition than bears in areas to the west and north.

Researchers discovered the first kill in January 2004. A male bear had pounced on a den, killed a female and dragged it 245 feet away, where it ate part of the carcass. Females are about half the size of males.

"In the face of the den’s outer wall were deep impressions of where the predatory bear had pounded its forepaws to collapse the den roof, just as polar bears collapse the snow over ringed seal lairs,” the paper said.

"From the tracks, it appeared that the predatory bear broke through the roof of the den, held the female in place while inflicting multiple bites to the head and neck. When the den collapsed, two cubs were buried, and suffocated, in the snow rubble.”

In April 2004, while following bear footprints on sea ice near Herschel Island, Yukon Territory, scientists discovered the partially eaten carcass of an adult female. Footprints indicated it had been with a cub.

The male did not follow the cub, indicating it had killed for food instead of breeding.

A few days later, Canadian researchers found the remains of a yearling that had been stalked and killed by a predatory bear, the scientists said.

We suppose it is only fitting that our environmentally sensitive media would recycle their news stories.

By the war, channeling the Reverend Wright for a moment, isn’t this concern for polar bears racist? –We don’t seem to care so much about brown bears?

And come to think of it, maybe it’s age-ist, too.

Since we don’t seem to care that much about grizzlies, either.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, December 8th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

34 Responses to “Photos: Polar Bears Turn To Cannibalism”

  1. 64dodger says:

    Apparently this is a recycled story from 2006:

    Polar Bears Eating Each Other Because of Global Warming Shifts
    posted 14th June 2006 in 2008 Reasons, Environment, Science by The Green Man
    Right wing activists tend to listen best when things are phrased in terms of morality, so I’ll try to phrase this in terms of moral language: Global warming is creating evil, cannibal polar bears!

    Okay, I can’t keep it up. Polar bears are amoral creatures. When they’re starving, they’re try anything to eat, and I don’t suspect that matters of right and wrong occur to them about it.

    Nonetheless, they are turning into cannibals, and global warming is to blame. Polar bears ordinarily hunt seals, but seals reproduce on pack ice, which, due to the warming of the Arctic Ocean, is being reduced and is breaking up earlier. That means fewer seals, and less food for the polar bears. Scientists have found that, as a result, some of the largest male polar bears, desperate for food, have taken to hunting down and eating smaller polar bears.

    Ecologists will tell you that the health of an ecosystem is often demonstrated in the health of its top predators. So, things aren’t looking good in the Arctic. Will the rest of the world go unaffected? Don’t bet on it.

    What scientists warned us about years ago, and the Republicans told you would never happen, is starting to occur. It is long past time to stop listening to the Republicans, and take care of the business of reforming our dirty industrial culture.


  2. BannedbytheTaliban says:

    Polar bears, like their genetically related kin the grizzly bear, will eat the young of sows in order for them to go back into estrus. It is a behavior meant to ensure that only the fittest male bears reproduce. You know, that thing called natural selection. Seems Darwin was only right when his arguments buttress the liberal agenda. Come to think of it, everything falls under that same caveat.

    • proreason says:

      This is well documented on the nature shows for lions. So it probably happens for other species as well.

    • beautyofreason says:

      Yep. I once had a male parakeet who mated and was briefly removed from the cage, as he continued to harass the mother as she tended to the eggs. Once the male was reintroduced to the cage, he mauled the chicks to death in order to breed with the female again.

      Not exactly limited to polar bears.

    • grits says:

      For heaven sakes, tom cats will do this, too! It’s a fact of life in the carnivore kingdom. We’re such a generation of ignoramuses – it’s really embarrassing.

  3. sheehanjihad says:

    And, if I am not mistaken, here is one of the studies that may give the polar bear extremists some of their guilt trip data


    Currently, estimates of the number of cubs per
    litter are generally assumed to equal estimates of
    the number of yearlings per litter. In addition,
    cub mortality is assumed to be insignificant. Because
    the average number of cubs per litter and
    the survival rate of cubs are important, statistics
    in the harvest models used to estimate sustainable
    yields, we recommend that the assumption
    concerning these statistics be reexamined. Small
    biases in either litter size or cub survival could
    result in serious errors in estimates of sustainable
    yields. For example, given a reproductive interval
    of 3.12 years (Lentfer, unpubl. rep., Alaska
    Fed. Aid Proj. W-17-4/5, 1976), a sex ratio of
    1:1, and a mean cub litter size of 1.88, the annual
    rate of reproduction is approximately 0.30. However,
    if the mean cub litter size were 1.65, the
    rate of reproduction would be 0.26. The difference
    between 0.26 and 0.30 is critical for predicting
    sustainable harvests. Likewise, differences of
    roughly 0.15 in cub mortality are critical to the
    predictions of population models for polar bears.
    Given the current techniques in use, we feel that
    mortality of yearling polar bears is significant and
    that current estimates of the number of cubs per
    litter are negatively biased. We recommend that
    management practices be reviewed with these
    points in mind.

    This last paragraph was placed to you could read the last two lines especially. What it is saying in a sense, that the study produced results that “may” indicate anything the reader or biologist wanted. It warns against using these results as a basis for an actual finding.

    In short…Polar bears are doing just fine thank you….and male bears are opportunistic predators, and will, if given the chance, kill and consume cubs at any opportunity. This is NOTHING NEW! and has been going on for centuries.

    The only difference is, today, more people are “looking” than did before, so the “results” are bound to look like an increase. Too bad, so sad. The polar ice isnt shrinking, and the polar bear population isnt decreasing due to starvation.

    Those who want you to think otherwise have huge amounts of grant money at stake, and of course they will caress the buttocks of their benefactors with their lips to maintain it.

  4. bill says:

    Polar bears have been cannibals ever since they evolved from brown bears, moved north, turned white to better hunt seals. In fact most male bears will eat the young, not just polar bears.

    But it is an interesting way to connect normal bear cannibalism to the global warming fraud.

  5. Reality Bytes says:

    Polar Bears Eat Their Young?! They should move to Chicago.

  6. Rusty Shackleford says:

    Well, I see a problem here. They are only talking about white bears. Why are black or brown bears not accused of the same thing? What gives? So it’s only amoral when white bears do it? Isn’t anyone aware of black on black bear violence? Or even black on brown bear violence? How come we only hear about the white bear violence?

    To say nothing about the black and brown bears that sneak into campsites and steal or trash the place. Many of those brown bears are illegals, too; Come from other places without permission.

    —Just askin’

    • Reality Bytes says:

      Bravo Rusty! Bravo! Typical White Bears. They were bred that way, right?

    • proreason says:

      Oh it’s even worse.

      Like everyone who voted for our president, I don’t have any moral issues with cannabalism. But from what I can tell from the data so far available, Polar Bears only cannibalize other white bears.

      And that is just plain wrong.

      If they are going to be cannibals, they shouldn’t discriminate. What’s with it. Black bears not good enough for Polar Bears? We should be LONG past that kind of 19th century thinking.

      We need some legislation to correct this problem.

  7. GetBackJack says:


  8. Reality Bytes says:

    Can I name that polar bear, “Uncle George”? “YUM YUM EAT EM UP!”

  9. David says:

    The melting of sea ice makes it harder for bears to hunt seals? So confining the same number of seals to a smaller area where the bears already are makes it more difficult for the bears to catch the seals. Right… that makes sense. Or is it because the ice has melted and the sea is so much closer that they are now restricted to land. The only way this argument makes sense is if you replace the “melting sea ice” with “expanding sea ice.” Which considering the last ten years of cooling I might actually buy. This article sounds like it was written by a sixth grader. (no offense to any S&L 6th graders)

  10. Right of the People says:

    I have always supported the constitutional right to arm bears.

  11. SBuxton says:

    Well they’re more into saving animals than humans. They’d rather see a baby’s brain get sucked out of the womb than live with the fact that we eat turkey. I say let’s help them out. Seriously, donate a PETA member to any hungry Polar bear. That would solve some of the problem wouldn’t it? The ice flows are melting fast, so grab a PETA member, and send postage so that they may save the polar bears by being delivered to the paws of a hungry bear… While supplies last.

  12. Liberals Demise says:

    Honky Polar Bear trash need love too.
    Eat the cubs and then rub up on Momma Bear.
    Lions do it, Seals do it, Bears do it!!

    A true National Geographic moment.

  13. puhiawa says:

    Polar Bears are a subspecies of Brown Bear, and as all such are naturally cannibalistic. It is related to territoriality in the main, but not exclusively.

  14. merkelerk says:

    Canada’s national park system is 122 years old.
    In all of this time it has always been a federal offence to carry a firearm or hunt in a national park in Canada, until this year….
    Parks Canada is now reconsidering their stance on carrying firearms (registered long gun) in Canada’s northern national parks, those parks where polar bears can be found. The reason for the change in rules is the increase in polar bear attacks which “Parks Canada” attributes to the growth in polar bear populations.

    Quoted from The Canadian Press (May 3, 2009)

    Policy director Darlene Pearson said the agency is reviewing its strict 122-year-old policy of no guns in national parks as it considers allowing at least some people to carry them in eight Arctic parks to protect themselves against polar bears.
    “We are exploring permitting the use of firearms for safety reasons,” she said. “We are examining our existing policy because of an increasing presence of polar bears, more so than in the past.”

    Please don’t tell the “Warmists” about this, they get so upset when the facts don’t fit their agenda.

  15. mr_bill says:

    Maybe we can convince a bunch of these warmers to volunteer to be eaten by polar bears.

  16. canary says:

    It’s nature for male Polar bears & brown bears kill their young even when they aren’t starving. It’s nature’s way. Grizzlies eat other bears too. They are not the only animal that eat their young. Polar bears are extremely aggressive violent animals. My vet told me sometimes females eat their young and they don’t know why. Fish eat fish too.
    Saving the seals has led to Eskimos not having food to eat.
    And if you don’t kill carpenter ants & termites, they will eat you house, and people will not have shelter.

    • proreason says:

      “if you don’t kill carpenter ants & termites, they will eat you house”

      canary hates animals

  17. canary says:

    Why do scientists have this idea that temperature numbers should work like time clocks. From thousands of years ago, the population has increased by billions, but temperatures haven’t.
    Is the WH Christmas tree going to cause global warming. I heard there were 5 hybrids driven at the global warming summit. Gore flew a high speed private plane, that gives off more carbons than larger planes.

    These fear-mongers will start the killing over who gets the life-boat. and
    people will have a new reason to kill other people.

    I just heard some Alaskan politician saying global warming is needed to create jobs. The liberals want global warming to happen.

  18. FreedomWings says:

    I wonder what these people would say about hamsters who eat their young. I remember my dismay over that. Was it the lightbulb in the lamp next to the cage that caused it? Ha!

  19. harrycan says:

    Nothing new here, lazy journalism (may I also add activism?). http://www.seaworld.org/infobooks/PolarBears/pblongevity.html
    It didn’t take me but two minutes to find online some written scientific documentation that this is Normal behavior. I had already seen a National Geographic show on cable that pointed out that cannibalism is natural in males to get the females into estrus (and also in females, when malnourished). Lazy, Lazy, Lazy – I hope I am not charged with breaking some new law that since I didn’t attend Columbia school of Journalism I cant point out the obvious.

  20. DW says:

    And come to think of it, maybe it’s age-ist, too.

    Since we don’t seem to care that much about grizzlies, either.


  21. canary says:

    Pro, Seriously, Canary’s pet name is Liberty. He lived in a bad tiny cage for a long time. Now has a mansion, plus, a large mobile home for short vacations in other rooms.
    Canary’s mansion is in a little girls room full of polar bear pictures, and stuffed polar bears (faux cuddly ones) because she loves polar bears. Canary loved talking to white little doggie named Arctic Polar Bear, but he got old, didn’t have doggy health insurance or $4000 for vet doctor to do open heart surgery.
    Canary’s mom loves animals.

  22. canary says:

    Cannibalism of human beings has increased in Africa. They myth of eating human beings giving the human predator power has grown from the wide spread of AIDS in Africa. The belief is that eating a baby without AIDS aids will destroy the disease in old humans. The more educated diseased human predators believe that raping a virgin girl will heal them. Some scientists say it’s an excuse from the starving. It might not be as bad as thought, because investigative studies have also pointed to rip-off scams, some Africans selling what they claim to be body parts and bones for healing purposes, but tests have shown they lie and are really selling animal parts. They used hidden cameras and paid a lot of cash for zip-lock bags of goodies placed in brown paper bags, as it’s against the law.

  23. mjwooten says:

    This is from Wikipedia about polar bears eating habits:

    The polar bear is the most carnivorous member of the bear family, and most of its diet consists of Ringed and Bearded Seals.[47] The Arctic is home to millions of seals, which become prey when they surface in holes in the ice in order to breathe, or when they haul out on the ice to rest.[46] Polar bears hunt primarily at the interface between ice, water, and air; they only rarely catch seals on land or in open water.[48]

    The polar bear’s most common hunting method is called still-hunting:[49] The bear uses its excellent sense of smell to locate a seal breathing hole, and crouches nearby in silence for a seal to appear.[46] When the seal exhales, the bear smells its breath, reaches into the hole with a forepaw, and drags it out onto the ice.[46] The polar bear kills the seal by biting its head to crush its skull.[46] The polar bear also hunts by stalking seals resting on the ice: Upon spotting a seal, it walks to within 100 yd (91 m), and then crouches. If the seal does not notice, the bear creeps to within 30 to 40 feet (9.1 to 12 m) of the seal and then suddenly rushes forth to attack.[46] A third hunting method is to raid the birth lairs that female seals create in the snow.[49]

    So, in other words…polar bears RARELY get off the darn ice to nail a seal…wanna try that BS up there again? The Cub could have been sick, have seen many animals eat it’s own kind because of that. Dead critters attract predators…so alot of times in the wild, they eat their own dead or sick for that very reason.

    Just more BS.

  24. BigOil says:

    I am in favor of setting up polar bear petting zoo’s in liberal controlled cities across the country. Give liberals a chance to get up close and personal with the cuddly little creatures.

  25. canary says:

    Talking about exploiting darling children, I was stunned to find a glossy Christmas themed gift catalog from World Vision, full of God’s wonder excerpts. . Purchase animals for poor children around the world. Page after page, of healthy, good teeth, bundled up with mittens, etc. holding baby goats for milk, baby lambs for wool, dairy cows for milk, a team of oxen and plow for $575 ( #-0129) or buy a share for $50 (#0287), children cuddling with chickens and ducks for eggs.
    Children cuddling baby lop-eared and dwarf pet rabbits (no fryers).
    ~~”God created rabbits to be among the fasted breeders on earth, making them a terrific gift for an impoverished family. With a gestation period of just 31 days, a pair of rabbits can easily become 50 rabbits wihin a single year. Offered in 1, 3, or 6 rabbits…..~~~ A chubby cuttie holding a baby pig. A pig is a prolific producer. A good scource of protein can produce as many as 20 piglets a year. Another little boy with gold necklace, arm wrapped around a hard-working donkey to lighten a family’s load.
    I like the
    “The old proverb is correct:”Teach a man to fish and you’ll feed him for a lifetime.” (I recall Jesus meant this as spreading word for eternal life) Family fishing kit, Dig & stock a fish pond, or both for $240.00

    Or you can buy a “3 inch high” plush animal “Gertie the Plush Goat 3” for
    $25 or more!!! “She’s a great way to announce you’ve given a goat.”
    (canary says this will sooth the feelings of children who kill and eat their pets)

    Hand-crafted Thai jewelry. Hand knotted (looks like thread) by girls and women in a project to help prevent “”exploilitation.”” $40 or more for 6″ bracelet. $60 or more for 20″ necklace. Colors: Turqouise or Black
    little wood beaded bracelet for $35 or more.

    !New!!!! 2009 Coffee mug $75, has pic of child drawn baby cow and says “John 10:10 “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

  26. VeronicaSheppard33 says:

    Every body understands that modern life seems to be high priced, but people require money for different stuff and not every person earns enough money. Thus to receive quick personal loans and just auto loan would be a right way out.

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