Target: Norwegian billionaire Olav Thon
Goal: Call off plans to create a for-profit captive polar bear center
The very survival of the polar bear species has already been severely threatened by the effects of global warming on the Earth’s polar ice caps, where polar bears once freely roamed. Now Olav Thon, a Norwegian billionaire, is putting the safety and peaceful existence of those polar bears that remain in jeopardy by threatening to create a for-profit polar bear center that would significantly restrict their range of movement in comparison to the roaming space they enjoy in the wild.
Polar bears are the widest ranging terrestrial mammals, enjoying a roaming space of over 50,000 square kilometers in their natural habitat. These graceful and powerful creatures are known to fare poorly in captivity, in large part because any environment that is comfortable for humans to casually visit is guaranteed to be uncomfortable for an animal uniquely adapted to extreme temperatures that humans are unable to withstand.
Polar bears’ blubber-coated, heavily furred bodies are designed to regulate body heat in freezing temperatures, meaning that in warmer climates they are highly prone to overheating. Similarly, their feet are designed for pack ice. Each foot boasts a single, non-retractable claw that provides grip on slippery, porous surfaces. They are made for digging burrows and forming nests in frozen water. The concrete floors provided in the average captive polar bear “habitat” are conducive to neither their physical nor their behavioral traits.
These bears also like to swim—far more than one might imagine they do. In the United States, polar bears are actually classified as marine mammals due to the incredible amounts of time they spend in and around the water. For an animal able to swim continuously for over 60 miles at a time, at speeds of up to 6 mph, the small swimming areas “thoughtfully” provided in the average polar bear enclosure might as well be puddles.
Ensure that the Earth’s remaining polar bears are able to live, reproduce and thrive in relative comfort within their unimaginably vast natural habitat by signing the petition below.
Dear Olav Thon,
Due to the ravages of global warming, the majestic and powerful polar bear has been pushed to the brink of extinction. Whether you are endeavoring to build your polar bear center with the survival of these amazing creatures in mind, or are simply hoping to attract a large number of paying tourists, I implore you to consider the following.
Polar bears are the widest ranging mammals on the planet earth. Their natural habitat encompasses 50,000 square kilometers. Their uniquely adapted bodies give them the ability to swim 100 kilometers at a time, earning them the designation of aquatic mammals in the United States. In climates where humans are comfortable enough to visit without thick layers of protective clothing, polar bears swelter and suffer.
If you truly care for the wellbeing of other sentient creatures, please demonstrate it by allowing the last of the polar bears their well-deserved freedom.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Alan D. Wilson via Wikimedia Commons