This Horribly Thin Polar Bear May Show The Dangers Of Climate Change

mbg Senior Sustainability Editor By Emma Loewe
mbg Senior Sustainability Editor
Emma Loewe is the Sustainability Editor at mindbodygreen and the author of "The Spirit Almanac: A Modern Guide To Ancient Self Care."

Polar bears are often seen as one of the strongest and most regal species in the animal kingdom. That's what makes this photo all the more shocking.

Nature photographer Kerstin Langenberger captured the shot of an extremely thin polar bear limping along a small ice patch while in Svalbard, a remote Arctic island that's home to more polar bears than people.

It has garnered over 40,000 shares since being posted on Langenberger's Facebook page late last month.

"I see the glaciers calving, retreating dozens to hundreds of metres every year. I see the pack ice disappearing in record speed. Yes, I have seen bears in good shape — but I have also seen dead and starving polar bears," she wrote on her Facebook page.

She goes on to say that the sick bears she's seen in the region are often female. Since they retreat to land when giving birth to young, they're left stranded without food once surrounding sea ice melts.

It's crazy to think that human actions could be so devastating to faraway species, and this visual representation of climate change makes the huge topic a whole lot easier to grasp.

Photo courtesy of Kerstin Langenberger Photography/ Facebook.

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