Global Warming Is Happening Right Here, Right Now
Graphic Video Shows Polar Bears Starving to Death in Hudson Bay
Warning: This video includes disturbing footage of a malnourished polar bear mother and her two cubs in western Hudson Bay, Canada. Some may choose not to watch, because it includes graphic scenes of a malnourished cub experiencing seizures.
Both cubs died within two days of the November 23, 2010, filming.
As difficult as the images are to watch, they show the real-life struggle polar bears face each day trying to survive on a warming planet. Malnourishment, starvation and even cannibalism have become facts of life for polar bears in western Hudson Bay and other areas.
© 2010 Daniel J. Cox/NaturalExposures.com
Polar bears are completely dependent upon large expanses of sea ice to hunt, feed and survive. They use the sea ice as a platform to capture seals and other prey. Global warming is rapidly melting their ice and lengthening the ice-free season, forcing bears to spend ever-longer periods of time on land, where there is little for them to eat. The longer bears like the ones in this video are stranded on land, the more likely they are to starve.
Polar bears were listed as a threatened species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act in 2008 due to sea-ice declines and dwindling populations. The U.S. population is projected to go extinct by 2050 if climate change in not reined in soon; the entire species may disappear by the end of the century. The polar bears of western Hudson Bay are on the front line of global warming impacts: their population declined by 22 percent between 1987 and 2004 and may be the first driven extinct by climate change.
The Center for Biological Diversity wrote the 2005 scientific petition to protect the polar bear under the Endangered Species Act. We later filed suit to ensure the listing occurred and to win 187,000 square miles of protected “critical habitat” in Alaska in December 2010. The Center is currently in court to upgrade the polar bear’s status from “threatened” to “endangered” and to ensure that greenhouse gas emissions in the lower 48 states, which are contributing to the melting of Arctic sea ice, are subject to Endangered Species Act regulation.
This video (© 2010 Daniel J. Cox/NaturalExposures.com) was taken as part of The Arctic Documentary Project spearheaded by Daniel J. Cox under the umbrella of Polar Bears International. (The video may be freely embedded on others websites so long as it is credited with the hyperlink © 2010 Daniel J. Cox/NaturalExposures.com.)
Dear Irresponsible Pet Owner,
I buried your cat today.
No, I didn’t find her dead at the side of the road, although that is the final sad (and unnecessary) fate of far too many animals in White County.
This was the cat that you put in a laundry basket with her four kittens and dumped in the woods outside Helen. I doubt that you could have been any crueler. You left a nursing cat and her six-week-old kittens without food or shelter in a harsh, unforgiving environment where their only options were starving to death, freezing to death, drowning, being terrorized and killed by roaming dogs or wild predators, or finding their way to a busy highway where they could become road kill.
There simply is no excuse for what you did. Whether financial hardships or divorce or family illness or forced relocation or some other extenuating circumstance prompted you to do this, abandoning helpless animals is never the right solution.
This story doesn’t end with your intentional mistreatment of this cat and her babies. A kind and caring person found the “garbage” you’d tossed in the woods and brought them to the Charles Smithgall Humane Society. Even though the shelter was stuffed to the point of bursting, they took in your throw-away cat and her kittens.
The staff and volunteers at the shelter did their best for all of them, but it was obvious that the mother cat was not doing well. A simple blood test revealed that she had the feline leukemia virus, an insidious illness that severely cripples the cat’s immune system — and one that is almost always transmitted to kittens through the mother’s milk. Yes, all four of her kittens also have feline leukemia. There is no treatment or cure.
Because you failed to have your cat tested for this virus and to have her spayed, it is a virtual certainty that every kitten she bore is infected with feline leukemia. Given her age, it is not likely that this was her first litter. Bad enough that you chose to cast these five specific animals aside like rubbish, but your irresponsibility has guaranteed that many, many more cats in this vicinity are carriers of this incurable feline disease.
When their leukemia positive status became known, I brought all five of the cats to my house. The mother had one last night in a warm, safe, quiet home. She was too weak to walk, too weak to eat, too weak to even make a sound. This morning, I took her to my vet’s office where she was compassionately, humanely euthanized. She slept away peacefully in my arms. Your piece of trash became my beloved pet, even if only for a few hours, and I wept bitter tears for the horrors she was forced to bear because of your thoughtlessness.
Then I wept again with tears of joy as I witnessed a sweet, sentient creature transformed from a pain-riddled relic of her former self (she weighed under five pounds — less than half of what the vet estimated her healthy body weight should be) into a blissful angel, released from suffering and free from the hell on earth you forced her to endure.
I brought her body home from the vet’s office and dug a grave for her near those of my other pets. As I tossed each shovelful of dirt in the hole, I made a conscious effort to bury my anger towards you. It’s certainly too late for that anger to do any good for her, and I know it is only a corrosive acid that would eat away at me if I chose to hold on to it.
So, I forgive you. Not because you deserve forgiveness for the unconscionable thing you did, but because I’d rather use my energies for good and positive things. You see, I have these four kittens who need someone to love them and play with them and take care of them, and their time on earth is likely to be quite short.
I just wanted you to know I buried your cat today.
Cleveland, GA 30528
So the mad holiday rush is on! I refer to this time frame as the “holidaze”, because folks seem to run around and rush in a dazed matter with concern about everyone on their gift list. It seems as though most are wearing blinders, and regardless of anything, just go!
The big-ticket items are usually pretty simple, cut and dry so to speak. It’s usually just a matter of price comparison.
The smaller, incidental gifts for friends, neighbors, teachers, and the like, can be tricky sometimes… especially if you’re stumped for an idea of what they might not only like – but really use and even enjoy. Imagine that?
Holiday Thistle Feeders are the perfect gift for any nature-lover or birding enthusiast. Bet you never even thought of anything like a gift of nature? It’s the perfect choice because it actually gets used, is a long-lasting gift, and is enjoyed by both the recipient and the birds.
Feeding thistle seed year-round will have Goldfinches’ electric yellow plumage gracing the yard in spring and summer months. Sweet calls and dispositions make these birds a welcome visitor to any yard, Also known as nyjer, this tiny, black, grain-like seed is a non-germinating one, so there’s never any weeds sprouting up below a thistle feeder.
Simplify your holiday list with wonderful gifts of nature. Thistle feeders are an awesome gift idea and range from inexpensive stockings like this one, to large capacity tube-type feeders.
Happy Birding and Happy Holidays!