New Delhi: Polar bears are pudgy, fuzzy, furry and big. Basically, they are all sorts of cute, but they are also one of the most dangerous predators, also known as the world's largest land predators.
Known to be supremely aggressive, they have the potential to kill with just one pounce, once fully grown.
However, climate change and its devastating effects have been responsible for the displacement and extinction of many of our animal species.
The melting of ice sheets in the Arctic region has a direct impact on the polar bear population, which seems to be struggling to survive.
A video has been doing the rounds showing a starving polar bear on his deathbed.
The heartbreaking footage was captured by photographer Paul Nicklen and filmmakers from conservation group Sea Legacy in the Baffin Islands in late summer.
"We stood there crying—filming with tears rolling down our cheeks," he said, the National Geographic reported.
The video shows a bony, emaciated polar bear trying to cling on to his life as he hunts for a morsel of food.
One of the bear's back legs drags behind it as it walks, likely due to muscle atrophy. He rummages inside a a nearby trash can used seasonally by Inuit fishers, finds nothing and resignedly collapses back down onto the ground. Watch the video below:
According to the report, in the days since Nicklen posted the footage, he's been asked why he didn’t intervene.
"Of course, that crossed my mind," said Nicklen. "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 wild polar bears is illegal in Canada.
The wildlife photographer says he filmed the bear's slow, beleaguered death because he didn't want it to die in vain.
"When scientists say bears are going extinct, I want people to realize what it looks like. Bears are going to starve to death," said Nicklen. "This is what a starving bear looks like," Nat Geo said.
By telling the story of one polar bear, Nicklen hopes to convey a larger message about how a warming climate has deadly consequences.