A heart-breaking video of an emaciated polar bear on iceless land has gone viral on internet.
The video, shot by National Geographic-contributing photographer Paul Nicklen along with filmmakers from a conservation group called Sea Legacy, shows the starving polar bear struggling to walk and scavenging for anything to eat.
The footage, which was shot in Canada’s Baffin Islands, highlights the effects of climate change on the animals.
Ever since the video was posted by Nicklen on his Instagram page on December 6, he’s been asked why he didn’t intervene.
“Of course, that crossed my mind,” Nicklen told National Geographic. “But it’s not like I walk around with a tranquilizer gun or 400 pounds of seal meat.”
And even if he did, said Nicklen, he only would have been prolonging the bear’s misery. Plus, feeding polar bears is illegal in Canada.
The heart wrenching video, which has been viewed over 1.1 million times has struck a nerve with those who have viewed it and also affected Nicklen and the crew.
“We stood there crying – filming with tears rolling down our cheeks,” he told the magazine.
Polar bears are classified as vulnerable, with a population of 22,000 to 31,000, according to worldwildlife.org.
According to Fox8, warming temperatures and rising seas have prevented the ice from solidifying, and polar bears are staying longer on the land looking for food, often times with little success.
“When scientists say polar bears will be extinct in the next 100 years, I think of the global population of 25,000 bears dying in this manner. There is no band aid solution. There was no saving this individual bear,” Nicklen said.