This bear looks so lonely and isolated–which is our human take on it. In reality, this is probably a pretty happy bear. He (or she) is sitting on ice, with open water in front of him (where, if he’s lucky, a ringed seal will emerge to breathe). Polar bears are very solitary creatures. They roam thousands of miles of territory all by themselves. Speaking of anthropomorphism, we humans seem to have a hard time grasping that. We don’t seem to get animals who don’t live in herds. We get herds, and we like them…even if they are small herds.
And don’t get me wrong. Herds are very nice. I especially like the part where the animals on the outside of the herd get killed first. I personally will be squeezing myself into the middle.
I learned a great deal about polar bears by reading the book “On Thin Ice”. Learning is a good thing. I think. I’m beginning to wonder if everyone agrees with me on that.
But back to polar bears. I learned that they have fur on the bottom of their paws. That seems like a really good idea. I learned that their hairs are hollow. In an attempt to preserve them, they don’t do well in Southern Hemisphere zoos, where algae grows inside those hairs and turn them green. You think I’m kidding.
I think that picture is horrific. But sometimes…you have to make a choice. I’d rather have a green polar bear in a zoo rather than no polar bear at all.