Skinny polar bear far inland in Siberia not due to sea ice loss but a rare normal event

Reposted from Polar Bear Science

A thin polar bear has wandered more than 1000km south of the Kara Sea into the Siberian town of Norilsk, which has happened at least once before in the 1970s. It is reminiscent of a similar incident this past winter in Alaska and there is no reason to blame this on lack of sea ice.

Norilsk starving bear 17 June 2019 Siberian Times photo

From the Siberian Times earlier today (17 June 2019) comes the report that a bear that did not get enough to eat this spring (due to any number of reasons, including competition from larger, stronger bears) and went looking for easier food sources. No mention is made that this incident should be blamed on global warming.

Update 18 June 2019: Lack of any evidence that this incident was due to lack of sea ice didn’t stop Reuters from implying this was indeed the case, a theme picked up by the UK Telegraph, the BBC, and The Guardian.

Norilsk starving bear 17 June 2019 Siberian Times map

Quotes and video from the story below.

“Norilsk is some 500 km from the open shore yet locals believe the bear has walked much further to reach the city, crossing the vast Taymyr Peninsula.

On his journey to the Talnakh district of Norilsk the predator has walked into brown bear territory.

Reports say the bear is likely to be moved to the Royev Ruchei Zoo in Krasnoyarsk, although some residents are campaigning to see the bear sent back under sedation to the coast.

Oleg Krashevsky – who specialises in tours to the remote Putorana plateau – posted: ‘I don’t understand how the bear could have walked such distance, across Taymyr and not come across anyone.

‘He must have encountered many hunters.

‘The same thing happened in 1970’s when a polar bear showed up at an explosives warehouse around the same place as this time.’

The video below is a reminder that starving bears are virtually never a sign of reduced sea ice blamed on global warming. Starvation is the leading natural cause of death for polar bears.

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June 20, 2019 10:11 am

Or perhaps just a bear with a below average I.Q. — or some mental aberration

Rod Evans
Reply to  AndyE
June 20, 2019 11:08 am

Maybe the Polar Bear is a climate alarmist, that would explain his dumb direction of travel.

Mike Bryant
Reply to  Rod Evans
June 21, 2019 8:17 am

They just found Sir David Attenborough chasing it with a drone.

Reply to  AndyE
June 20, 2019 1:06 pm

today from the Siberian Times: a suggestion the bear had been captured as a cub and released just recently to avoid prosecution. So not anything to do with lack of sea ice as insisted by other media outlets, including the New York Times

Reply to  Susan Crockford
June 20, 2019 1:22 pm

Great! Now it’s an anchor cub, and will be able to legally get every one of its litter, its parents, uncles and aunts, cousins and babysitters to come into Russia and receive welfare, schooling and benefits.

Reply to  RACookPE1978
June 20, 2019 2:42 pm

rotflmao….good one RA

Reply to  RACookPE1978
June 20, 2019 4:32 pm

“Lack of any evidence that this incident was due to lack of sea ice didn’t stop Reuters from implying this was indeed the case, a theme picked up by the UK Telegraph, the BBC, and The Guardian.” – the usual suspects

To quote Rahm Emanuel (Obama’s first consigliere, now mayor of Chicago), “You never want to let a serious crisis go to waste” – – – even if it’s a FAKE CRISIS

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  Susan Crockford
June 20, 2019 9:11 pm

Thanks Susan.

Nick Werner
Reply to  AndyE
June 20, 2019 3:44 pm

… or maybe it’s a Two Spirit Bear that’s been ostracized by his kin?
Okay, that could be local humour, and WUWT has a widespread audience:

Michael S. Kelly LS, BSA Ret.
Reply to  Nick Werner
June 20, 2019 6:11 pm

The Kermode bear needs to check its white privilege…

Reply to  AndyE
June 21, 2019 6:41 am

500 km is only 310 miles ….. and polar bears are noted for either “walking” or “swimming” 100+ miles when foraging for food (seals or their pups).

So, after a week or three out hunting, who the ell knows how far they can/will travel?

I’m sure there is more than one Polar Bear with a GPS collar that is being “tracked” where ever it goes.

Reply to  AndyE
June 21, 2019 8:57 am

Or perhaps just a bear with a below average I.Q. — or some mental aberration

Unlike Yogi Bear, he’s NOT smarter than the average bear.

June 20, 2019 10:23 am

Polar bears get old too, lose weight and wind up starving to death when they can no longer hunt. If this polar bear was starving because of climate change, then you would think every other polar bear in the region would be in the same shape, but they are not. We can’t make huge leaps of logic from the circumstance of one animal, and anyway, it would be much better to properly identify what has been going on with this one bear the last season, than to make up some phoney storyline to promote some other cause like AGW. That is just straight up intellectual dishonesty.

I wouldn’t be terribly opposed to putting up this bear in a zoo for its final days, since it would give a chance to study what happens to old sickly polar bears when given a chance to recover. It just could be that this polar bear made the right decision going south, especially if he gets to spend his final days in an old bears home. Lucky bear. My thought is that this particular bear has some disease which is why it is in the shape it is. Nature can be cruel too, so tying to blame it on humans is a lame, feeble excuse but it sells and that is a tragedy. Use this opportunity to study what is wrong with this animal and our knowledge will be increased.

Reply to  Earthling2
June 20, 2019 11:54 am

“Polar bears get old too, lose weight and wind up starving to death when they can no longer hunt.”

But but I thought polar bears never ever die


John M. Ware
Reply to  Jones
June 20, 2019 12:12 pm

Like old accountants, who never die; they just lose their balance.

Or old physicians, who never die; they just lose their patients.

Or certain old board-game players, who never die; they just lose their marbles.

I’m sure there are more of these, but I’m out for now.

Sweet Old Bob
Reply to  John M. Ware
June 20, 2019 2:37 pm

….Old truckers never die ; they just get a new Peterbuilt …
…Old farmers never die ; they just go to seed …

john york
Reply to  John M. Ware
June 21, 2019 2:04 pm

Old gardeners never die; they just lose their bloomers.

Reply to  john york
June 22, 2019 10:04 am

Old seamen never die.
They just smell that way!


Bryan A
Reply to  Jones
June 20, 2019 12:27 pm

certainly not in the wild and never without Manns interference

Jeff in Calgary
Reply to  Jones
June 20, 2019 2:25 pm

End of life for animals is almost always brutal (usually not too pleasant for humans either). Prey animals usually end up being eaten alive by predators. Predators usually starve to death in their old age (or get eaten by healthier, stronger predators).

Alan the Brit
Reply to  Jeff in Calgary
June 20, 2019 11:55 pm

Sometimes of their own breed!

Reply to  Alan the Brit
June 21, 2019 7:12 am

But-but-but! THE PUBLIC don’t know Nature is red in tooth and claw, and Nature is a bitch to the old . . . they get their info. from The Lion King and Finding Nemo, and believe only WE make animals diseased and miserable . . . don’t we? /sarc. It MUST be OUR fault! (Or, how can we play this naturally occurring event for maximum bathos to generate checks for alarmist NGO’s?)

June 20, 2019 11:10 am

This reminds me of a solar source and all the known factors that explain climate change on a seasonal and decadal basis, with temperature swings of 10, 20, 100 degrees and more. A stadium wave, perhaps. Fluid mechanics that force a regular, recurring bias with irregular extreme divergence, possibly. A system that is incompletely and insufficiently characterized and unwieldy, that reduces human skill and perception to forecasts with a variable and sometimes large margin of error.

Reply to  n.n
June 20, 2019 12:41 pm

Are you ignoring emergent phenomena?

Reply to  Ken
June 21, 2019 7:05 am

Not at all. I’m considering existent phenomena.

Reply to  n.n
June 21, 2019 12:08 pm

But, but you are not considering all the “mass balances” of air/surface temperature, ….. thermal radiation/conduction, …… CO2 ingassing/outgassing, ………. photosynthesis/decomposition, ……. etc., etc., that is prerequisite for explaining how the natural world keeps it “warmth”.

You know how things “”wobble n’ crash” iffen their mass is outa balance.

June 20, 2019 11:35 am

Anyone who walked 1000 km would loose a bit of weight. Judging by images of one or two CACC advocates it appears they could do with such an enterprise, contemplating along the way the preferred version of the imminent end of the world as we know it.

June 20, 2019 11:37 am

Adult animals that literally starve to death are not rare. In many if not most instances, particularly for large carnivores, when they get to advanced ages they lose a step or three, just like aged humans do. Also, teeth in aging animals tend to go bad in large carnivores, again, just like with many humans – after all, wild animals don’t get any dental care, as do zoo animals or domesticated animals. When the teeth go, their ability to feed is obviously hindered.

Finally, aged or not, all carnivores and omnivores are no more than a few missed meals away from starvation, particularly at the end of the winter thaw before they get a chance to put on pounds of fat from summer and early fall hunting for game and fish, as well as devouring berries, insects, and other typical foods. Same is true for black bears and grizzly bears in the American Rockies. And ditto with wolves and foxes and badgers and so on.

It seems cruel, but that’s nature for you. But also easily exploited by dishonest charlatans trying to mislead the public.

Reply to  Duane
June 21, 2019 4:00 am

No Griff will save them, just agree with him and it will all be fixed.

Chris Wells
June 20, 2019 11:37 am

I was yelling at the TV when I heard them use this propaganda. What a joke the CBC has become.

June 20, 2019 11:51 am

Geez, the poor polar bear comes as a hand-out seeking refugee and the first thing they want to do is deport it back to where it was being oppressed by the other polar bears. Where is their compassion?

Al Miller
June 20, 2019 12:07 pm

Thanks for the reminder of why I don’t watch or listen to MSM anymore! It’s a sad sad state when the media is complicit in lying to the citizens in the supposed information era?

June 20, 2019 12:19 pm

A thin polar bear has wandered more than 1000km south of the Kara Sea into the Siberian town of Norilsk

It is easy to find Norilsk on, just turn on “SO² mass” tracking, and Norilsk will pop out as the most heavily sulfur dioxide polluted place on Earth. It produces 1% of the world’s SO² pollution (including volcanoes):,68.194,86.484,3

Norilsk is cursed with the world’s largest deposits of nickel, copper and palladium, and has been heavily mined since Czarist times. The ores are smelted there and the air and ground are heavily polluted, making it one of the world’s most polluted areas.

Perhaps the poor animal was delirious from heavy-metal poisoning when it wandered into town.

Is it not curious that the western media never mention these notorious pollution problems in Russia (and China)? Instead they consistently blame mostly the United States for not doing enough to clean up pollution.

Reply to  Johanus
June 20, 2019 4:59 pm

So you’re claiming not only was the barely naked polar bear barely able to eat, and it couldn’t swim (cause it was too far away from Arctic Ocean because the polar ice cap melted, right?), but that it couldn’t even SMELL the SO2 pollution any more!

Reply to  RACookPE1978
June 20, 2019 6:12 pm

I did not claim those things.

I am just baffled by the bear’s wandering. But reading above that the bear may have been in captivity might explain why the bear was headed towards human habitations, where food could be found.

In any case, it has been claimed that the pollution in Norilsk has lowered human life expectancy to 59 years (i.e., ten years less than Russian average of 69). So very bad for humans. And bears. Do you not agree?

Reply to  Johanus
June 21, 2019 7:16 am

Maybe it’s ditsy! Dementia in animals is a thing, you know, especially in the presence of certain parasite infestations or nutritional deficits, both a distinct probability in an aged animal. Do these dingbats think there are nursing homes in Florida for Arctic peak predators?

We are truly at Peak Human Stupid!

Robert W Turner
June 20, 2019 12:40 pm

They don’t know how the bear could have walked that far and not come across many hunters? These people really need to get out in nature more to see that it’s bigger than the pictures.

Roger Knights
Reply to  Robert W Turner
June 21, 2019 2:22 am

“They don’t know how the bear could have walked that far and not come across many hunters?”

High-caliber (hunting) rifles were illegal in the USSR. Maybe the law persists in the XSSR.

Richard from Brooklyn (south)
June 20, 2019 12:49 pm

With this bear heading in the ‘wrong’ direction maybe it is a bipolar bear.

Rod Evans
Reply to  Richard from Brooklyn (south)
June 20, 2019 1:06 pm

Very good, LoL!!

Reply to  Richard from Brooklyn (south)
June 20, 2019 3:43 pm

If it’s come from the Canadian side it’s a trans polar bear….

Reply to  Richard from Brooklyn (south)
June 21, 2019 12:21 am

His name is Al.

Richard from brooklyn (South)
Reply to  SasjaL
June 21, 2019 1:27 pm

Yes SasjaL, however in my advancing years I am more concerned about a possible visit from another Al, you know, the one with the last name ‘Heimer’. I so far have avoided a visit from ‘Arthur’ (last name ‘Ritus’) but ocassionally my joints get a little stiff.

Mumbles McGuirck
June 20, 2019 12:51 pm

From the Siberian Times earlier today (17 June 2019) comes the report that a bear that did not get enough to eat this spring … and went looking for easier food sources.

AKA slow Siberians

June 20, 2019 1:25 pm

What ? there are no nursing homes for polla bears , no social security , no meals on wheels ???

Reply to  Eben
June 20, 2019 3:09 pm

No safe space ?

Where are the progressives when you need one (to eat)?

June 20, 2019 2:04 pm

Population pressure driving bears south.

June 20, 2019 2:04 pm

Trust me, you don’t want to accidently wander in to the town called Norilsk. One of the dirtiest places on earth.

June 20, 2019 2:07 pm

Greens and the media just will never admit that nature is not kind. Disney lied.

Reply to  Sheri
June 21, 2019 4:03 am

Disney has always lied just take there lemming documentary.

June 20, 2019 5:27 pm

Susan’s book “Eaten”, leaves nothing to the imagination.
“And that’s all I’ve got to say about that.”

June 20, 2019 6:51 pm

Amen. With a significant lack of sea ice (not in evidence) there would be many more than this one poor creature. No?

Johann Wundersamer
June 20, 2019 6:54 pm

Dog catcher, cat asylum, game wardens.

+ polar bear nurses.

Always sell on TV.

June 20, 2019 6:56 pm

This spring in my area (Southern VT) there were several older barn owls who apparently starved to death.
Not uncommon in these parts.

June 20, 2019 8:00 pm

Feed the dang bear some steaks and let’s see how he’s faring in a few days!

Reply to  chickenhawk
June 21, 2019 4:05 am

We could feed him a few greenies because everyones mum always told you eating your greens would make you big and strong.

June 21, 2019 6:17 am

Well the CBC In Our Backyard propaganda series continues and quotes the Netflix film about walruses without any question on the circumstances of the scene…
To see how the Netflix film has been misleading check Dr. Crockford’s post

June 22, 2019 4:33 am

30,000 fat polar bears, 1 skinny polar bear.
Climate change is so selective.

June 22, 2019 7:26 am

What about information about his colleagues who left at the seaside and probably miss the wandering tourist? I think more weight would be given by showing that there is this population of stronger animals left at the seaside and that we are dealing with an outlier here. Just reassuring statements – how much it resembles an argument “Believe me” from the CO2 guys…

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