There’s something so peaceful and bucolic about seeing a pasture full of fleecy white sheep grazing in a pastoral scene. It’s like it’s right out of a painting by Stanton or Cole. Well, the tourists we’re talking about today certainly felt that way too — then they got a closer look at the “sheep.”
Tourists in Russia
Recently a boatload of tourists in Russia saw a seaside hillside dotted with white that prompted a lot of picture taking. They were touring around Wrangel Island in the Arctic Ocean. And they all thought they were seeing a herd of sheep.
That pic is a little fuzzy, but that looks like a sheep herd to me. Doesn’t it to you?
As the boat got closer, the dots of fuzzy white started looking less and less like sheep. The tourists were puzzled though.
What is that?
The animals were too small to be cows, maybe. Legs weren’t long enough to be horses. And who has a few hundred white horses anyway?
Not gangly enough to be goats. What on earth were they looking at?
Even after they got close enough to be able to tell what they were looking at they could not believe their eyes.
Polar bears. They were looking at a gigantic, unheard of (pardon the pun) herd of…polar bears!
“There were at least 230 polar bears, including single males, single females, mothers with cubs and even two mothers with four cubs each,” a source at Wrangel Island Nature Preserve said.
There are only about 25,000 polar bears left in the wild, around the world. The lucky tourists on that boat managed to see about 1 percent of the entire population of wild polar bears on the planet in just one glimpse.
Before the tour, the guides warnedtThe tourists that they might see polar bears during their tour. In fact, they even knew that polar bears can appear when you least expect it.
Most folks would be excited to see one or two bears and be able to take a photo home with them. Nobody expected to see hundreds of them at one location.
The polar bears were all gathered together for a feast. The carcass of a beached whale had washed up on the shore. One whale can provide sustenance for a lot of bears.
Some of these bears were in families of parents and up to four cubs. That requires a lot of food to keep their bodies warm enough to survive.
The staff at the Preserve were thankful to see so many bears getting a good feeding. The threats to the survival of the species are profound.
Because of melting ice in the Arctic, many polar bears are becoming stranded from food supplies and starve.
Polar Bears International urges humans to try to slow down our climate change, if at all possible. Their scientists predict that all wild polar bears could be gone by 2100 at the current speed of change.
We are so glad these bears were there to take advantage of one of nature’s snack bars.
To make sure these bears are around for a very long time, visit Polar Bears International.
Source: The Dodo