Polar Bears’ diet is 25% plastic, Russian scientists say

Photo: NPL/Minden Pictures

Polar bears have been forced to forage for food on land as a result of the climate crisis.

A quarter of what polar bears eat is made up of plastic waste, Russian scientist Ivan Mizin warned as the animals are more frequently approaching human settlements due to the climate crisis.

“When polar bears visit landfills, up to 25 percent of their stomach and excrement contents is [made up of] various plastic waste: bags, wrappers, etc.”

The expert explained polar bears have been forced to forage for food on land as a result of the climate crisis and melting ice caps.

Russian scientists warned that the decline in Arctic ice forces bears to abandon their habitat in search of food near populated areas to the point that in recent months several videos showing the animals wandering around Russian Arctic towns went viral.

“Polar bears rely heavily on the sea ice environment for traveling, hunting, mating, resting, and in some areas, maternal dens,” the World Wildlife Organization said in a report on the effect of the climate crisis on polar bears, adding that “in particular, they depend heavily on sea ice-dependent prey, such as ringed and bearded seals.”

A key concern among experts is that the long lifespans and low reproductive rates of the species will negatively affect their capacity to adapt to radical changes in their habitats.

Sources: teleSUR, EFE.

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