Everyone remembers the shock and sadness earlier this year when the world's favorite polar bear, Knut, died suddenly at the early age of 4yrs. old in a zoo in Berlin. He had been hand raised by human handlers when his mother had rejected him shortly after birth. So when a cute little polar bear named Siku gained world- wide attention recently with the announcement that he was being hand raised after his mother had rejected him in a Danish Wildlife Park, questions were being raised if maybe this little guy could suffer the same fate.

But Siku's caretaker Frank Vigh-Larsen, from the Scandinavian Wildlife Park in Kolind, Denmark has assured those skeptics that Siku will be living in a totally different environment and should do quite well. Vigh-Larson was quoted as saying, "We have the world’s largest polar bear facility here, covering two-and-a-half hectares, and when he’s about 2 years old he will move in with the other four polar bears (at the park) and have a very normal polar bear life — as normal as it can be in captivity.”

The wildlife park also wants Siku to be an ambassador for his wild cousins who are suffering greatly because the melting polar ice caps are severely cutting into their traditional hunting grounds. Siku, whose name in Inuit means "Sea Ice" will help bring awareness to the rest of the world about their plight. His name is very symbolic because the sea ice is melting and "that’s threatening the very existence, the survival of the polar bears,” Vigh-Larsen said.

Why Siku is the ambassador to wild polar bears ~

Currently there are an estimated 20,000 to 25,000 polar bears that live in the wild across Alaska, Greenland, Russia, Canada and Norway. In Polar bear country on the western shore of Canada's Hudson Bay area, about 1,000 miles north of the US-Canada border along the 49th parallel, hundreds of polar bears gather each fall to wait for the bay to freeze over. Once it freezes, they can head out onto the ice to hunt ring seals.

The problem is that the ice is weeks late in forming. The polar bears, who haven’t eaten since July, have been arriving as always in early November but there was very little ice on Hudson Bay. For the polar bears, less time to eat means a greater risk of not surviving the ever-lengthening time when they are on shore and not eating. Because of this the polar bears are definitely threatened by habitat loss driven by climate change.

In order to help the polar bears survive, The World Wildlife Fund and other conservation groups are focusing their energies on a project known as the “Last Ice Area.” These are the areas of the Arctic that scientific projections indicate remain frozen longer even as the planet warms. These organizations are working to get these areas, which include Canada, Greenland and Russia, protected as a kind of final refuge for these magnificent creatures. A major donor to the project is the Coca-Cola company which has kicked in $2 million and agreed to match the next $1 million in contributions. Coke has long been associated with polar bears through its well-known ads featuring cartoon polar bears.

Enjoy the recent video of Siku with his handler in an interview on the Today Show .

Responses to "Will Siku the baby polar bear suffer the same fate as Knut? (Video)"

  1. Oh that was precious...and a good message at the end, reduce our carbon footprint.
    Bless little Siku

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