(Newswire.net — December 9, 2017) — The alleged highlight of devastating climate change repercussions was recorded by a documentary film crew who witnessed a tragic demise of a polar bear. The scene brought tears to their eyes.
Unable to help, the film crew could only immortalize the moment the polar bear starved to death by filming the heartbreaking scene. Photographer Paul Nicklen posted the footage on Instagram commenting on the lengthy video of a skinny polar bear that was clinging on to life in desperate pursuit of food:
“My entire Sea Legacy team was pushing through their tears and emotions while documenting this dying polar bear,” Nicklen wrote. “This is what starvation looks like. The muscles atrophy. No energy. It’s a slow, painful death,” he added.
The footage was made in the Canadian Arctic, the Baffin Island , Canada’s largest and the fifth largest island in the world. Once covered with ice and snow the wasteland is becoming uninhabitable for many species, especially polar bears.
While filming a documentary over the summer, the conservation group Sea Legacy captured the moment the polar bear, all skin and bones, slowly moved while dry saliva on its mouth showed that the once gracious animal is probably hours more than days away from its inglorious end.
“As temperatures rise and sea ice melts, polar bears lose access to the main staple of their diets – seals,” Nicklen noted.
In pursuit of food, polar bears are approaching human settlements, risking to be shot on the spot. The polar bear from the footage, however, reached a filmcrew that choose to send a message to the world rather than to save the ill fated animal. The move caused worldwide criticism and backlash.
“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,” Nicklen responded to criticism.
There are arround 25,000 polar bears left in the world. The species is, however, doomed to become extinct within the next 100 years, the filmmaker said, adding that the team decided to send a world a message instead of saving the bear.
“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,” Nicklen stressed.
Nicklen’s crew decided to stay aside and film the event.
There was another photographer who once decided to send a message rather than help, but he couldn’t live with the guilt.
Kevin Carter (13 September 1960 – 27 July 1994) was a South African photojournalist, author of the photo that was captured while covering the UN mission in Sudan in 1993, “The Vulture and the little Girl.“ The famous photo portrays a little girl, fallen to the ground from hunger, while a vulture lurked on the ground nearby awaiting to eat her.
For this photography Carter received a Pulitzer Prize in April 1994. Two months later, he committed suicide.