This soul-crushing video of a starving polar bear on dry land shows how global warming is destroying wildlife

  • Heartbreaking video shows a starving polar bear scavenging for food on dry land.
  • The scene in Canada’s Baffin Islands was taken by National Geographic photographer Paul Nicklen.
  • Nicklen said he and his crew were “filming with tears rolling down our cheeks.”

A video of a starving wild polar bear roaming around dry land looking for food has gone viral.

In the heartbreaking footage, taken in Canada’s northerly Baffin Islands, the bony male polar bear slowly ambles along dry land.

Head down, he rummages in a nearby rubbish bin looking for food. When he finds nothing, he slumps to the ground.

Canadian photographer Paul Nicklen, who recorded the scene with conservation group Sea Legacy, told National Geographic: “We stood there crying – filming with tears rolling down our cheeks.”

The bear most likely died “within hours or days of this moment,” and there was nothing Nicklen could have done to save him, he said on Instagram.

Feeding wild polar bears is illegal in Canada, and even if it weren’t, feeding the bear would only prolong his misery, National Geographic said.

Nicklen added: “It’s not like I walk around with a tranquilizer gun or 400 pounds of seal meat.”

You can watch the video on Nicklen’s Instagram account.

The photographer wrote in the accompanying caption:

“My entire Sea Legacy team was pushing through their tears and emotions while documenting this dying polar bear.

“It’s a soul-crushing scene that still haunts me, but I know we need to share both the beautiful and the heartbreaking if we are going to break down the walls of apathy.

“This is what starvation looks like. The muscles atrophy. No energy. It’s a slow, painful death.

“When scientists say polar bears will be extinct in the next 100 years, I think of the global population of 25,000 bears dying in this manner.

“There is no band aid solution. There was no saving this individual bear. People think that we can put platforms in the ocean or we can feed the odd starving bear.

“The simple truth is this – if the Earth continues to warm, we will lose bears and entire polar ecosystems. This large male bear was not old, and he certainly died within hours or days of this moment.

“But there are solutions. We must reduce our carbon footprint, eat the right food, stop cutting down our forests, and begin putting the Earth – our home – first.”