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Why Didn’t They Help?

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The image of a starving polar bear has been circulating around the internet and causing anger from the viewers. The video by a National Geographic staff shows an unhealthy, weak polar bear struggling to walk as he desperately looks for food. Many are confused as to why the staff did nothing to help the polar bear. The photographer of this image, Cristina Mittermeier, explains
why. Mittermeier says, “Some have criticized us for not doing more to help the bear, but we were too far from any village to ask for help, and approaching a starving predator, especially when we didn’t have a weapon, would have been madness.”

The bear had “Weak muscles, atrophied by extreme starvation, could barely hold him up. It was clear that, even if I had fed him the handful of nuts I had in my backpack, without sea ice from which to hunt, his prospects of survival would be slim.” It would also have been illegal to feed him, approach him, or to do anything to ease his pain. However, instead of watching this poor animal struggle with its life, she used her camera to be able to share, not only a dying animal, but the effects of climate
change. Polar bears rely on a platform of sea ice from which to hunt, and a fast-warming Arctic means sea ice is disappearing. This means that many bears get stranded on land, where they cannot hunt for seals, walruses, and whales. This then leads them to slowly starve to death. If the Earth continues to warm, we will lose bears and entire polar ecosystems. We must reduce our carbon footprint, eat the right food, stop deforestation, and begin to take care of Earth first.

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Why Didn’t They Help?