A polar bear was found dead this July in northern Svalbard, the north-most bit of Norway, located well up into the Arctic Ocean. He was, the scientists who examined him said, “little more than skin and bones,” and if you want to and you can handle it, you can click below the fold to see what that looks like.
What’s particularly distressing about this polar bear’s death is that scientists had examined him just a couple of months before, in April, when he “appeared healthy,” the Guardian reports. But the seas around Svalbard are warming up, and there was not enough sea ice for the bear to go out hunting seals. Scientists think that this particular bear generally hunted in the south, but his body was found well out of his normal range, far to the north of Svalbard.
“From his lying position in death, the bear appears to simply have starved and died where he dropped,” [polar bear expert Dr. Ian] Stirling said. “He had no external suggestion of any remaining fat, having been reduced to little more than skin and bone.”
You can see him below:
[image removed by request]
This isn’t the only polar bear in danger, either. “They are just not putting down enough fat to survive their summer fast,” another scientist told the Guardian.