News / Science & Technology

Alaska Scientists Work to Save Polar Bears

Scientists in Alaska Work to Save Polar Bearsi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
May 30, 2014 8:31 PM
For decades, humans and global climate change have been threatening the existence of polar bears. Scientists in Alaska are working hard to save as many of them as possible. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Scientists in Alaska Work to Save Polar Bears

George Putic
For decades, humans and global climate change have been threatening the existence of polar bears. Scientists in Alaska are working hard to save as many of them as possible.

The zoo in Anchorage, Alaska, has been taking care of orphaned or abandoned polar bears since the 1970s.

Fifteen-year-old Ahpun was rescued as a cub by a hunter, who shot her mother after she attacked him.

Her mate Lyutyik was born in Russia's St. Petersburg Zoo. Scientists have paired them, hoping they would produce a cub and increase the population of the threatened species.

​Patrick Lampi, Executive Director of the Alaska Zoo, says, “So, for years, we've been the holding facility, sometimes permanent, sometimes temporary, for orphaned cubs coming in, whether their parents were killed or they got separated in a storm.”

Lampi says the first three years cubs spend with their mothers are critical for survival. Orphaned cubs never have a chance to learn survival skills, so they can never go back into the wild.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist, Susi Miller, says that the Alaska Zoo is their first stop.

“In the last five years especially, but actually for even longer now, 20 plus years, they've been helping us deal with orphaned cubs,” said Miller.

Out of approximately 20,000 polar bears worldwide, about 1,500 live on Alaska's northern coast, and an unknown number are found around the Bering and Chukchi Seas.

As warming temperatures diminish Arctic sea ice, the bears spend more time on land, where they are attracted to piles of whale and fish bones outside Alaskan native villages. Experts warn that increased encounters with humans, together with expanding tourism, may lead to more conflict and more cubs becoming orphans.

The Alaska Zoo is working to raise $8 million for a two-phase project, to expand the polar bear exhibit and build a Polar Bear Transition Centre, which will be able to accommodate more bears.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

US Urges Restraint in Hong Kong Protests

Protesters angered by Beijing's decision to only approve candidates that it sanctions for Hong Kong's leadership elections in 2017 More

Archive of Forgotten UCLA Speeches Offers Snapshot of History

Recordings of prominent voices in social change, politics, science and literature from 1960s, early 1970s now available on YouTube More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Eileen Floyd from: Alaska Zoo
May 30, 2014 2:58 PM
There is an error in the story. The Alaska Zoo is NOT receiving $8 million dollars from the U.S. Government to build this project. The Alaska Zoo is working hard to raise the funds for this expansion project and is accepting donations towards this end.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenyai
X
Gabe Joselow
September 29, 2014 6:20 PM
Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Video

Video Reconstruction? What Reconstruction? Life After War in Gaza

It’s been a month since Israel and the Palestinians agreed to a ceasefire to end 52 days of an air and tank war that left 60,000 homes in Gaza damaged or destroyed and 110,000 homeless. Sharon Behn reports that lack of reconstruction is leading to despair.
Video

Video US, Saudi Arabia and UAE Hit Islamic State's Oil Revenue

The United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have bombed oil facilities operated by Islamic State militants in Syria. It was a truly collaborative effort, with the two Arab countries dropping the majority of the bombs. The 12 refineries targeted were estimated to generate as much as $2 million per day for the terrorist group. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb has the story.
Video

Video Russia's Food Sanctions Raise Price Worries, Hopes for Domestic Production

Russia retaliated against Western sanctions imposed for its actions in Ukraine by halting food imports from the West. The temporary import ban on food from Australia, the European Union, Norway and North America has Russian consumers concerned that they could face a sharp increase in food prices. But in an ironic twist, the restrictions aimed at the Kremlin have made Russia's domestic food producers hopeful this can boost their business. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Washington to Pyongyang: 'Shut This Evil System Down'

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is calling on North Korea to shut down prison camps and other human rights abuses following a United Nations Commission of Inquiry into "widespread and systematic human rights violations." VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid