Polar bears, the fascinating giants

Did you know that polar bears aren’t actually white at all? Or that the loners meet up with conspecifics to cuddle? These exciting facts about polar bears give a glimpse into the life of the white giants.

1. Polar bears are actually black
Black skin is hidden under the snow-white fur of the polar bears. It offers the animals the advantage of being able to keep themselves warm because dark skin heats up faster due to the warmth of the sun. The light fur reflects the sun’s rays onto the skin and also serves as an insulating layer.

2. Polar bear men are giants
They are the second-largest land carnivores in the world after the Kodiak bear. Adult polar bear males can grow to be over two meters tall and weigh an average of between 400 and 600 kilograms. Female polar bears are only half as heavy.

3. Polar bears are smart hunters
Polar bears feed primarily on seals. But since they cannot swim as fast as their prey, they do not chase after them but lie in wait for them.
Seals keep coming to the surface of the water at holes in the ice to catch their breath. There the polar bears often wait for hours until a seal emerges from the ice hole.

4. Polar bears migrate many kilometers
When the pack ice in the south of the Arctic melts in spring and summer, seals migrate further north. The polar bears follow their food source for many kilometers in order not to starve. However, some polar bears do not manage to follow the rapidly thawing ice in time and remain on the mainland, where they have to feed on their fat reserves.

Norway, Svalbard Islands, Scandinavia, Spitsbergen, A polar bear wandering on the ice pack north of the Svalbard archipelago Image by © Bruno Cossa/SOPA RF/SOPA/Corbis

5. Polar bears are friendly loners
By nature, polar bears prefer to be alone. But when they meet conspecifics, the gathering is usually peaceful. They share their prey with their own kind, play with each other, and even cuddle at night.

6. There is a world capital of polar bears
The small town of Churchill in Manitoba, Canada, is known as the “world capital of polar bears”. From October every year, hundreds of polar bears can be seen migrating north.

7. Polar bears are critically endangered
According to the Red List, polar bears are endangered.
Due to climate change, marine pollution, increasing shipping, and oil and gas extraction, polar bears are losing their food sources and their habitat.
The overhunting of seals and the rapid melting of the pack ice mean that polar bears hardly find prey and are often exposed to starvation. Many polar bears also fall victim to trophy hunting.

8. Polar bears go crazy in zoos
Polar bears suffer extremely from the confinement of captivity. The size of a polar bear zoo is on average only about one-millionth of the minimum size of its natural habitat, which can cover several hundred to several thousand square kilometers.
The enormous lack of exercise is almost unbearable for land carnivores – most of them develop severe behavioral disorders as a result.


And I mean…Soon there will be no more polar bears in the wild.
Only as a prisoner in zoos, or as a clown with a ring in his nose to entertain stupid onlookers.
Never take your kids to the zoo to gawk at bears or other inmates.

Respect and empathy for animals start right at home.

My best regards to all, Venus

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