Posted onMay 12, 2023|Comments Off on Roald Amundsen tried and failed to tame a polar bear cub in 1920
A short account of polar explorer Roald Amundsen’s failed attempt to tame a polar bear cub he had bought in May 1920 from a trader in the Russian Far East appears today in the Barents Observer. The cub was likely captured after its mother was killed, which was a common practice at a time when polar bears were being slaughtered wholesale throughout the Arctic (Crockford 2019; Honderich 1991; Stirling 2011).
It only took a month for Amundsen to give up his experiment. Below are some excerpts; read the full account here. More photos are here.
“It has been a record year so far for global temperatures, but the record high temperatures in the Arctic over the past six months have been even more extreme,” Meier said. “This warmth as well as unusual weather patterns have led to the record low sea ice extents so far this year.“ [my bold]
Well, except for Davis Strait/Labrador Sea this spring. And Western Hudson Bay/Foxe Basin this month – plus the fact that late July sea ice in the Laptev Seais higher than it’s been for more than a decade (more on that below).
I guess totals matter for some things – just not for polar bears. However, it’s nice to see the issue of melt ponds get some attention, since they are such a prominent feature of polar bear habitat during the summer melt season.
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