Would you really want to hurt one of those? That's the implicit question in an Associated Press article run on ABCNews.com about polar bears forced to turn to cannibalism because of global warming.
According to the AP, polar bears may be "turning to cannibalism because longer seasons without ice keep them from getting to their natural food." The study that is featured in the story cites only three examples of polar bear cannibalism, all from 2004. The Three Bears must of had their fill the last two years.
The AP writer, Dan Joling, feels no shame in collaborating with environmental activists who give him two-year-old data. The right time to release the data, naturally, is during Al Gore's movie.
Polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea may be turning to cannibalism because longer seasons without ice keep them from getting to their natural food, a new study by American and Canadian scientists has found.
The study reviewed three examples of polar bears preying on each other from January to April 2004 north of Alaska and western Canada, including the first-ever reported killing of a female in a den shortly after it gave birth.
Polar bears feed primarily on ringed seals and use sea ice for feeding, mating and giving birth.
Polar bears kill each other for population regulation, dominance, and reproductive advantage, the study said. Killing for food seems to be less common, said the study's principal author, Steven Amstrup of the U.S. Geological Survey Alaska Science Center.
Naturally, no competing viewpoints are heard, although one of the activists did make a reference to Coca-Cola Bears.
Environmentalists contend shrinking polar ice due to global warming may lead to the disappearance of polar bears before the end of the century.
The Center for Biological Diversity of Joshua Tree, Calif., in February 2005 petitioned the federal government to list polar bears as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act.
Cannibalism demonstrates the effect on bears, said Kassie Siegal, lead author of the petition.
"It's very important new information," she said. "It shows in a really graphic way how severe the problem of global warming is for polar bears."
Deborah Williams of Alaska Conservation Solutions, a group aimed at pursuing solutions for climate change, said the study represents the "bloody fingerprints" of global warming.
"This is not a Coca-Cola commercial," she said, referring to animated polar bears used in advertising for the soft drink giant. "This represents the brutal downside of global warming."