POLAR BEARS SOS!!
You are not mistaken if you think you see a little sadness in the eyes of the polar bear above. We are all too familiar with the image of the proud polar bear striding across the arctic ice, but this bear is tired, hungry and looking out of place slumped on grassland.
Where is the bear? Hot and exhausted in a zoo perhaps, resting from a circus act? No, this animal is in its natural habitat- on the shores of the Hudson Bay. The trouble is that the bear's habitat is changing, and the bear is suffering as a result.
The first bear to hunt on the ice was probably a grizzly – and it took several hundreds of thousands of years to become adapted to conditions of the Arctic coastline. White hair for camouflage, concealing black skin to absorb heat. Polar bears have white fur for camouflage while stalking prey – seals mainly. To provide insulation and a store of food, the polar bear has lots of fat.
This is summer time. Tough times for the bears that live on and off the shores of Hudson Bay. These are the lean months. On the Hudson Bay the ice completely melts every summer. So between July and November, the bears eat nothing. This is where a large fat reserve is essential.
The problem is that the ice breaks up on average two weeks earlier than it did ten years ago. The year 2002 was much, much worse than previous years. The bears have had to last for almost a whole month longer.
The extra weeks without food have an impact on all the bears but it is females with cubs that are affected most. A mother bear needs to provide milk for her cubs for one or two years. For some this is just not possible. Some baby cubs simply starve to death.
Scientists working in the Hudson Bay area have found that for every week the ice breaks up earlier, the bears come ashore 10 kg lighter. This means females are not able to produce as much milk. It is the smaller, weaker cubs that die first.
Adaptation of an article by CBC. www.tv.cbc.ca
Climate campaigner with Greenpeace.
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Pink sees red over sheep 'cruelty'
Wed, 20 Dec 2006
US pop star Pink has joined a campaign to boycott Australian wool over allegations farmers Down Under are cruel to sheep.
In a gory video on the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) website that features sheep having their throats sliced, the singer describes Australian sheep farmers as "sadistic".
She also criticises the practice of "mulesing", cutting off slices of flesh from lambs' rear ends to prevent flystrike — the infestation of flesh-eating maggots. And she rails against live sheep exports from Australia to the Middle East in overcrowded ships.
"I am calling on consumers to check labels on sweaters before buying them, and if they're merino wool or made in Australia, to leave them on the racks," she said.
Australian actress Toni Collette and Pretenders singer Chrissie Hynde have previously campaigned with PETA to end mulesing.