Another bogus climate claim about lost Russian polar bear

  • Date: 18/04/19
  • Susan Crockford, Polar Bear Science

Another day, another bogus starving polar bear claim from an environmental organization.

Exhausted polar bear Kamchatka_Guardian headline_18 April 2019

From The Guardian,  18 April 2019

Polar bear starvation is virtually never caused by climate change but apparently, Greenpeace thinks there are still some gullible folks out there who will believe anything they are told. A young male polar bear in poor condition found far south on the Russian coast of the Bering Sea a few days ago is an isolated incident: it is not evidence of anything except the sad fact that the life of a polar bear can sometimes be brutal. In contrast to these reports, Chukchi Sea polar bears are doing extremely well overall.

Environmental activists are of course blaming climate change for the appearance of this ‘exhausted’ polar bear found in a Russian village on the edge of the Bering Sea on the Kamchatka Peninsula and the media has been more than happy to spread their allegations far and wide (herehere, and here).

Polar bear visits Kamchatka

In contrast, the full story carried by The Siberian Times (18 April 2019, with more pictures and video)  confirms the bear is a young male who arrived at Tilichiki on an ice flow that moved down the coast while the bulk of the Bering Sea ice was retreating north.  It was a sad accident of life that has apparently happened before: he, like a few others, happened to get caught on the wrong piece of ice. The Russian report does not include a quote from Greenpeace and does not mention climate change.

Here is how he is described:

‘Locals filmed it on video, photographed it, and yesterday – fed with fish, though, he did not eat much.

‘The bear looks drained and weak.

‘For some reason he does not catch fish and seals, which we have in good supply.’

Nor has he threatened people.

‘He did not even enter the village itself,’ she said.

‘He lies near the bay on the ice – close to our police station.”

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