Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Zoologist Susan Crockford: Ian Stirling’s latest howler: “the polar bear who died of climate change”

I suggest this is what really happened: the polar bear biologists working in Svalbard earlier this year knew this bear was going to die back in April when they captured him – they simply waited, with a photographer on hand, until he died. It was an orchestrated photo-op...How is it possible that this bear was healthy in April but dead by starvation less than 3 months later? Why was he even on land in April? Why was global warming photographer Ashley Cooper in Svalbard for 12 days in July, fortuitously available to take the bear’s picture?

The fact that the bear was onshore in April, available for capture by polar bear biologists, is a red flag. He should not have left the ice this early. He should have been out on the ice hunting seals. The ice may have pulled away from the shore but there was no compelling reason for him to go onshore if he was healthy and still successfully hunting – he just had to stay on the ice. He must have [been] sick or dying of old age.

This bear was doomed back in April by the simple act of leaving the ice so early and the biologists working the region (putting radio collars on bear) had to have known it: leaving the ice in April was not normal behavior. I suggest they alerted their colleagues and then kept track of him until he died, so they could get a useful picture of his dead carcass.

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