Remember Siku? The young polar bear -- born last November at the Scandinavian Wildlife Park (SWP) -- has been shown on live webcams since February.
Siku was removed from his mother, who wasn't able to produce enough milk for him. A park manager told the Associated Press that Siku "was moaning and being unruly all the time," and that he was in danger of death if he was left with his mother.
The webcam, organized by SWP, Polar Bears International (PBI) and explore.org, is intended to spread a message the organizations are calling "Siku's Wish." According to a press release, they hope "people everywhere [will] reduce their carbon footprint to save the arctic ice and all the species which depend on it for survival."
Recent reports have suggested that polar bear cannibalism could be on the rise due to climate change, as photos emerged last year of a polar bear eating a cub in the Arctic. The photographer wrote in the journal Arctic, "As the climate continues to warm in the Arctic and the sea ice melts earlier in the summer, the frequency of such intraspecific predation may increase."
The World Wildlife Fund notes that "Climate change, which leads to the loss of Arctic sea ice, is the leading threat to polar bears." Although polar bears aren't presently endangered, the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species currently lists the animals as "vulnerable." The listing is based on "a suspected population reduction" of over 30 percent "within three generations (45 years) due to decline in area of occupancy (AOO), extent of occurrence (EOO) and habitat quality."
Images courtesy of Søren Koch/Hilmer & Koch Nature Photography.