As one person commented below the article, famous explorer Roald Amundsen was attacked by a polar bear (back in the days when explorers drove SUV’s, remember?). — DQ
Lindsay Abrams — Salon — November 22, 2014
When polar bears attack: How climate change is creating a new breed of unlikely killers
As the ice caps melt, polar bears are losing their natural habitats — and starvation is driving them to violence
In the summer of 2013, seven American hikers set off on a two-week expedition through Canada’s Arctic tundra. The plan was to experience a pristine landscape rarely seen by humans and, if they were lucky, catch a glimpse of the region’s polar bears. They went prepared with flares and electric fences — enough, they assumed, to protect them from the massive predators. It wasn’t.
To say any more would be to spoil the suspenseful, true-life story that Sabrina Shankman recounts in her e-book “Meltdown: Terror at the top of the world,” which was produced with InsideClimate News. You can read an excerpt here. (An accompanying documentary series produced with Vice Media will be premiering later this month.)
Just as terrifying as the details of the attack is the other story Shankman tells: that of the rapidly melting Arctic and its accompanying loss of sea ice, habitat to the polar bears, which scientists warn are facing extinction. Without the ice, the polar bears are unable to hunt seals, their main source of food. Starving and stuck on land, they venture inland in search of alternative food sources — because of that, experts believe that the number of dangerous interactions between the bears and human populations are set to increase dramatically. “After all,” Shankman writes, “to a starving bear, a human is just meat.”
All that would be reason enough, for me, to avoid polar bear country entirely. But what’s happening up north, of course, is but a magnified version of the changes taking place throughout the planet. As one scientist told Shankman, “What’s happening to the polar bears is what’s going to happen to us.” (Continue reading — if you can — here…..)