Video footage captured in Canada's Arctic has offered a devastating look at the impact climate change is having on polar bears in the region, showing an emaciated bear clinging to life as it scrounged for food on iceless land.
Nevertheless, Nicklen's video shows what this looks like for bears that have an increasingly hard time hanging on in warming conditions. But Instead of a large, fluffy polar bear, the bony bear they saw was very thin and walked with one of its legs dragging behind it perhaps due to muscle atrophy.
Without ice, there are no seals, the mains source of food for polar bears.
For polar bears, the loss of sea ice means the loss of hunting grounds.
The video he shared on Instagram was captioned, "My entire team was pushing through their tears and emotions while documenting this dying polar bear".
A study by the U.S. Geological Survey said that polar bears are being forced to try to "outrun" global warming by moving eastward on an accelerating "treadmill" of remaining sea ice.
According to Nicklen, they were emotional when they filmed the struggling bear looking close to its death.
This week I posted a video of a starving bear.
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He explained that the polar bear was likely in its last stages of dying; and that while you can't know for sure how a bear died without an autopsy, this bear was young and likely suffering from starvation.
The large, half-ton bears find concentrations of seals on sea ice.
As Nicklen and other photographers filmed the distraught animal, "we stood there crying", he said. "It's a soul-crushing scene that still haunts me, but I know we need to share both the attractive and the heartbreaking if we are going to break down the walls of apathy", he added.
"This is a foreshadowing of what the future holds for polar bears if we don't do something, I know that sounds harsh, it is". "No energy. It's a slow, painful death". So, as we head into holidays-where many of us will find ourselves debating with loved ones about important topics like climate change-do yourself a favour and search "global temperatures over the past 100 years". "Of course, that crossed my mind", he told National Geographic. There was no saving this individual bear. "We must reduce our carbon footprint, eat the right food, stop cutting down our forests, and begin putting the Earth - our home - first".
He says that rather than trying to feed a few starving bears, people need to make big changes such as reducing their carbon footprints and ending deforestation.
Nicklen told National Geographic, where he is a contributor, that the video he shot of the starving bear was one of the most painful scenes he's witnessed.
During summer the bears can go for several months without eating while they wait for the Arctic Ice to solidify but because the ice is freezing later and melting earlier, their fasting period is prolonged. "But it's not like I walk around with a tranquilizer gun or 400 pounds of seal meat".
It is illegal to feed wild polar bears in Canada and even if the team had fed him it would have only put off the inevitable because the bear was at death's door.