First evidence of polar bears swimming long distance: study

Posted on 27 January 2011  | 
Researchers from the US Geological Survey have documented the first evidence of long distance swimming by polar bears, according to a BBC Earth News report.

The scientists, who are studying bears around the Beaufort sea, north of Alaska, recorded a polar bear swimming for more nine days and covering a distance of 687km (426 miles). Their findings were published in the Polar Biology journal.

While polar bears are known to swim between land and sea ice floes to hunt seals, the researchers say that increased sea ice melts push polar bears to swim greater distances, risking their own health and future generations.

Read the full story on the BBC Earth News website.

If arctic sea ice continues melting at its current rate, polar bears could become extinct by the end of this century.
© WWF-Canon / Jack Stein GROVE Enlarge

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