Polar bear populations are getting out of control and posing a threat to human lives. Obviously the greenies don’t want you to know this.
Last month in Tuktoyaktuk in Canada, on the edge of the East Beaufort Sea, five children were terrified out of their lives by the extremely rare sight of a polar bear roaming through their village. The bear was so close they could hear it breathing.
At first, the other kids didn’t believe their cousin when she said a polar bear was nearby. And then they started running — and so did the “ever big” polar bear.
“That polar bear started running towards them,” said Kikoak. “And one of my twins, she was maybe about six feet away from the stairs [of the house], but she was so in shock to see that polar bear, she was just standing there looking at it. And it didn’t move. It kept on staring at her.”
Kikoak said her niece, who was inside the house with her and the rest of the children, thought fast and grabbed a skipping rope. She then tossed one end to Kikoak’s six-year-old daughter, who was still frozen in shock.
The young girl held onto the end of the rope, said Kikoak, and was pulled towards the house.
“And once she reached the stairs [my niece] grabbed her by her jacket and put her on the stairs,” Kikoak said. “And that’s how she saved my daughter.”
Earlier in September, in a different part of the Arctic, a group of five Russian researchers on Troynoy Island were besieged by a group of a dozen ravenous adult polar bears which ate one of their dogs and caused them to run out of flares. A helicopter had to rescue them with a supply of more flares – and three puppies to replace the eaten hound. They weren’t allowed guns because Russian law forbids the killing of polar bears because – supposedly – they are an endangered species.
Meanwhile, in Svalbard, Norway – where polar bear populations have increased by 42 per cent since 2004 – polar bears are becoming an increasing problem in inhabited areas, with more and more having to be shot to protect humans.
“Four polar bears have been shot so far this year,” Vidar Arnesen, a chief police inspector for the governor of Svalbard, told Reuters. “In a normal year, one or two would be shot.”
“There are more contacts between humans and the animals,” he said aboard the Polarsyssel, the governor’s ship, used for inspections and rescue operations.”
Svalbard was the site of a horrific incident in 2011 when Horatio Chapple, an English schoolboy on an expedition organised by the British Schools Exploring Society was killed in his tent by a marauding bear. The bear mauled and wounded four other adventurers before it was finally shot.
Polar bears, as we know, have a special status as the poster children of the manmade global warming “it’s all our fault and the planet is doomed due to our selfishness, greed and refusal to amend our carbon-guzzling lifestyles” movement.
But despite the best efforts of environmentalists to have the bear classified as “Endangered”, it remains stubbornly one notch below on the IUCN Red List in the merely “Vulnerable” category.
Even this, though, is probably an exaggeration. As even the (uber green) IUCN was forced to admit last year, polar bear populations are not declining.
Indeed, in the last fifty years their population has increased five- or six-fold from around 5,000 to between 22,000 and 31,000.
Just like global warming theory, the entire greenie case for the polar bear being in any kind of danger rests not on real life observations but on computer modelled projections and idle speculation.
With polar bears, the theory runs that declining summer sea ice is depriving them of their hunting territory, causing them either to starve to death or drown on their desperate hunt for food. This theory is nonsense, for a number of reasons outlined here, including the facts that polar bears are excellent swimmers and that there has been no evidence to corroborate this theory – quite the opposite, in fact, with some populations appearing to benefit from shorter sea ice seasons. In any case, even if it were a problem, the Arctic is currently on a freezing trend not a warming one.
A far bigger threat to polar bears – and to humans too – is that their populations are simply too healthy. This means that there is inevitably going to be an excess of young males foraging further afield for food, as polar bear expert Susan Crockford explains.
In the polar bear entry for the encyclopedia, “Wild Mammals of North America,” Steven Amstrup wrote (2003:602):
“… Age structure data show that subadults aged 2-5years survive at lower rates than adults, probably because they are still learning hunting and survival skills.”
“I once observed a 3-year-old subadult that weighed only 70 kg in November. This was near the end of the autumn period in which Beaufort Sea bears reach their peak weights, and his cohorts at that time weighed in excess of 200 kg. This young animal apparently had not learned the skills needed to survive and was starving to death.” [my bold]
All this means the last line of this article is indeed true:
“The possibilities of a hungry bear encountering a human being are increasing,” said Lambertini.
More problems with young males is what living with a healthy population of polar bears looks like, which means more bears will have to be shot in self-defense.
Experts have been predicting this problem for some time. It has nothing to do with global warming and almost everything to do with the near-worldwide ban on polar bear hunting, which hitherto kept populations in manageable numbers.
Ian Stirling, 1974:
“Dr. Stirling felt that complete cessation of hunting, such as exists in Norway, may increase bear-man conflicts. Dr. Reimers replied that the careful harvesting of polar bears was probably desirable, but the total ban now in effect was largely an emotional and political decision rather than a biological one. Last year four bears were killed in self-defense.” [my bold]
(1974 PBSG meeting “Norway – progress reported by [Thor] Larsen”; Anonymous 1976:11).
Stephen Amstrup, 2013:
“We have predicted in no uncertain times [sic – terms?] that as bears become hungrier as the sea ice absence period is longer, more and more of these animals are going to be venturing into communities, venturing into villages, raiding food caches, getting into garbage, and even attacking people. So we predict these kinds of events are going to be more frequent and more severe because of climate change.” [my bold]
(The Guardian, November 4, 2013).
Crockford is the author of a Jaws-style thriller on ravenous polar bears killing humans called Eaten. At least one polar scientist who has read it considers its “science-based scenario” to be frighteningly plausible.
In field-level polar bear management circles, people don’t talk about the kind of scenario that forms the premise of this novel as an “if”. Instead, they describe it as a “when” and they are not looking forward to it.