Polar bears are undeniably cute, but recent reports have shown that the ancient species is quickly declining. The reason? Damage done to their glacial habitat due to an increasingly warmer climate. Although the bears survived the Ice Age, they may not be able to last much longer if something isn’t done about global warming.
That said, here’s 33 undeniable reasons why you will want to save the polar bears and stop global warming now.
1) They're mature
Polar bears are thought to have originated 600,000 years ago, but new findings show the species is even older, making its first appearance four or five million years ago.
2. They're so darn cute
Polar bears are actually born blind and weigh one to two pounds. However, they grow quickly thanks to their mother's milk and usually leave the den after four months weighing between 28 and 33 lbs.
3. They believe in good parenting
Pregnant polar bears enter their "maternity" den in January weighing almost 600 lbs and they don't leave until four to eight months after they give birth to their cubs. Mothers than spend upwards of three years protecting their young and teaching them how to hunt.
4. They have strong family values
Although males only stick around for a week after mating, mothers and their children form a tight family unit that lasts until the cubs reach maturity after two to three years of care.
5. They're always on top
Polar bears are at the top of the food chain as the largest land predator. They can consume 100 lbs of meat in one feeding and feast on seals that live in the Arctic. Their only real predators are humans and environmental changes to their natural habitat.
6. They play well with others
Polar bear cubs are known for their playful demeanor.
7. ... but only when they want to
Although they are not very territorial, polar bears are very aggressive when it comes to getting a girl. Male polar bears will often fight to the death over a female during mating season.
8. They're independent
Mother polar bears will chase away their young once they reach maturity, but siblings will often ban together to survive until they can live on their own.
9. They're political
On a visit to Oakland on Monday, the environmental policy group Frostpaw greeted President Obama with a "polar bear" in order to protest off-shore drilling in the arctic. Drilling in the arctic has been linked to radical changes in the environment, making it increasingly hard for the species to survive.
10. They're famous
11. They like to travel
Polar bears migrant throughout the year, traveling througout a span of five countries which include the U.S., Russia, Denmark, Norway, and Canada.
12. They have good race relations
The new study shows that polar bears interbred with brown bears, despite the separation between the two species five million years ago during the ice age.
13. They're quick
Polar bears can run as fast as 25 miles per hour, but only for short distances. Most of the time, they walk with a slow and steady gait.
14. They're clever
Polar bears have been caught using blocks of ice and other methods to kill their prey. Because of their harsh environment, polar bears have been known to use their available resources to survive.
15. They're cool
Temperatures in the arctic range from -40 to 32 degrees fahrenheit, yet polar bears maintain an average body temperature of 50 degrees fahrenheit in all weather conditions.
16. They know how to relax
When not hunting or eating, polar bears like to spend their down time resting or sleeping. The bears usually sleep seven to eight hours a night.
17. They're strong
Polar bears can kill their prey with one swipe of their paw and they're jaws are strong enough to bite through the skull of a seal.
18. They're triple-threats
They can swim, they can run, they can even jump.
19. They're graceful
20. They are larger-than-life
Adult male polar bears measure anywhere from 8 to 9 feet in length.
21. They're quiet giants.
Polar bears display more personality traits than other bears. Researchers have noted that they tend to travel and hunt alone rather than in groups, but they are willing to share their meals with others.
22. They're internationally known
Ursus maritimus, which means "sea bear" is the scientific name for polar bears. They're called "Nanuk," an Inuit name that means "an animal worthy of great respect" and "Tomassuk, the master of helping spirits" in Greenland
.23. ... and loved
The U.S., Canada, Denmark, Norway, and the Soviet Union signed an agreement to protect the polar bear in 1973.
24. They're ambidextrous
There's a common myth that polar bears are left-pawed, but observations have shown that the bears actually use both paws equally.
25. They're Santa's neighbors
Polar bears only live in the Arctic, aka the north pole, making them next-door neighbors to Santa and all his elves.
26. They keep to themselves
Despite the common misconception that polar bears and penguins live together, penguins reside in Antarctica, all the way on the other side of the world. Plus, the word "arctic" comes from the Greek word for "bear" while "antarctic" means "without bear." Looks like the penguins don't want them to come over, anyways.
27. They're smart
Polar bears have high cognitive capabilities, making them as smart as apes.
28. They're sensible
Polar bears have an acute sense of smell in addition to their great eyesight and hearing.
29. They're good communicators
Body language is the primary way that polar bears are able to communicate with each other, thus they have developed customs like the nose-to-nose greeting that one bear uses to ask another for food.
30. They're clean and neat
Even though they live in the wilds of the arctic, polar bears like to be as clean as possible, spending 15 minutes after each meal to wash up in the water (or snow during the winter).
31. They're Inspirational
Polar bears have been inspiring myths and legends about themselves for ages, especially within the Inuit and Eskimo cultures. There are cave paintings dating back as far 1,500 years depicting the bears as great hunters.
32. They're fearless
Contrary to popular belief, polar bears do not attack humans. They actually have little fear of people. However, because they are attracted to garbage in settlements that exist near their dwellings, polar bears will wander into these sites in the search of food.
33. They like to be young, wild and free
There are an estimated 20,000 - 25,000 polar bears worldwide, with a growing number placed in captivity, presumably for their own good. However, the natural environment of the polar bear cannot easily be replicated by zoos and the bears thrive in the wild when left alone.