A polar bear dragged a reindeer to the sea and killed it before eating it in a Norwegian archipelago.
The video that they captured was shared widely. Two days later, they saw the same bear next to another reindeer kill.
There is violent footage of a reindeer being killed.
The first detailed account of a complete and successful polar bear hunt of a Svalbard reindeer was written by their observations. 13 previous reports of polar bears preying on reindeer on the same archipelago between 1983 and 1999 have been made.
The first accounts of polar bears differed in their diet. They enjoy a diet of offshore seals when the sea is frozen.
In the summer months, bears use supplementary food sources such as seabird eggs and garbage at the Churchill dump in Hudson Bay, which is a rubbish and recycling facility. Similar reports of feeding on the ground have become more frequent in recent years.
polar bears can eat, have eaten, and have tried to eat many things, from stalking and chasing Canadian caribou, fishing for Arctic char, and catching geese and rodents, to patrolling human refuse sites.
The viability of these food sources is questionable. The researchers found that polar bears were inefficient at attacking seabird eggs and that the energy they gained from eggs may be less than previously thought.
They may use more energy to find the eggs than they do to eat them. Other studies have found that the consumption of food by polar bears has been insufficient to compensate for reduced hunting opportunities out on the ice.
The climate change threat is real.
The polar bears are efficient predator of marine mammals. They rely on ice-based prey, primarily ringed and bearded seals, to support themselves. They are profoundly threatened by a warming climate.
Sea ice in the north is melting earlier in the summer and refreezing in the winter. As the ice-free periods become longer, polar bears are spending more time on land.
A polar bear is swimming.
Other factors are making their situation worse. The energy demands of polar bears were found to be higher than thought. With less time on the sea ice and less seal fat to eat, polar bears will find it more difficult to meet their energy needs, leading to higher death rates. Hunting seals may be more difficult at higher wind speeds.
Climate change, high energy stress, and the resulting effect on their bodies are what led to increasing reports of summer scavengers.
The proliferation of digital platforms is a part of the story.
Andrew Derocher, a professor of biology at the University of Alberta and a long time polar bear expert, said that everyone has a camera and news spreads fast. He pointed out that no one would have seen the phenomenon if it were happening in the 1950s and 1960s.
Photos and videos of polar bears have been viewed millions of times on the internet. polar bears are being used as the face of our climate catastrophe, from beingsieging a Russian town to tragic sequence of starving individuals.
polar bears are seen as evidence in a wider climate change context because of their actions in the sea ice that cannot live in an above freezing future. Bears are the embodiment of our worsening global condition, thanks to our digital age.
Online content can be misdirecting when it comes to their plight. A focus on individual bears to illustrate climate issues risks shifting the burden of proof away from overwhelming scientific evidence and onto the lives of single animals.
Observations like those in Hornsund reinforce the need for more research on the future of this species.
This event should not be seen as proof of changing diet in a warmer world, but as a reminder of the amazing creatures we will lose. The fate of a species in the distant reaches of theArctic is bound to our own.
The University of Cambridge has a PhD in Henry Anderson-Elliott.
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