According to Science magazine, polar bears burn up to 12,300 calories per day, mainly on a diet of seals. How do they “hunt” those seals? The bears wait for hours by seals’ cone-shaped breathing holes in the sea ice. When a seal surfaces to breathe, the bear stands on its hind legs and smacks the seal on the head with both of its front paws to stun it. Then the bear bites it on the neck and drags it onto the ice. They’re far more successful doing this than any other method of hunting.
The key is ice. The bears need the ice to be able to hunt, to eat, to live. Climate change is heating up the Arctic faster than anywhere else on earth. National Geographic says sea ice is shrinking 14 percent per decade. Everyone agrees that the Arctic ice is melting rapidly. People may disagree about the causes.
Denis Dean, fifteen-year Arkansas and Florida Master Naturalist, will speak on the plight of these majestic carnivores. According to Dean, “This program is about the effect the melting ice is having on Polar Bears and the loss of their habitat, which may cause the entire population to revert back to where they originated - as Brown Bears. Scientific evidence has found that the brown bear, a species that also includes grizzly bears, was a precursor to polar bears, which then went on to develop specializations for inhabiting the harsh Arctic.”
Come hear and see an exceptionally interesting and informative program on a most timely subject. Handouts on a variety of nature subjects will be available.
When: Sunday June 3, 2018
Time: 2:00 pm
Where: Hobbs State Park visitor center located on Hwy 12 just east of the Hwy 12/War Eagle Road intersection.
For more information, call: 479-789-5000