The potential effect of climate change on polar bears has long been documented, but now it's starting to be seen.
The town of Churchill, Manitoba in Canada has recently found itself overrun with the bears, according to Good Morning America. The problem has become so severe that the town has even created a "bear jail" for bears that wander into the town.
In a report with GMA, which you can see for yourself below, officials showed how when a bear roams into town, it's often tranquillized and taken to the "jail" for some time before being airlifted and released some distance away. Each bear is marked, and officials make note of repeat offenders.
According to Reuters, the polar bears typically walk out on the ice of the nearby bay around this time of year. Because of climate change, the freeze is coming later and later each year, keeping bears on the mainland for longer.
The more time the animals spend on land, the more likely they are to come in contact with humans. It's an everday sign of how climate change is endangering polar bears. The effect could be so dramatic that the animals may be in serious trouble.
Ian Stirling, a wildlife biologist who's been studying the bears for 41 years, told the Vancouver Sun that the bears in Manitoba and Ontario may be doomed. Less feeding and fewer births may be a sign of the end for the creatures.
Stirling believes this will lead to the disappearance of polar bears from northeastern Manitoba, northern Ontario and parts [of] Nunavut and Quebec within decades, barring the unlikely event the planet quickly begins to cool.
"Things definitely don't look good for the Western Hudson Bay and Southern Hudson Bay populations," Stirling said in an interview on Wednesday, referring to the world's southernmost polar-bear subpopulations.
However, there are those who are doing what they can to avoid the demise of these iconic animals. Activists have set up live webcams to allow people to watch the great polar bear migration live. You can see that live feed here, as they try to raise awareness about the plight of the bears.
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