Looking like giant marshmallows with big black noses, they rank high on the cuteness scale and draw some of the largest crowds at the zoo. However, despite many adoring fans, their existence is in jeopardy. International Polar Bear Day, observed annually on February 27, is a day to not only celebrate these beautiful creatures, but to learn more about them and how we can save their lives.
Residing in the Arctic, they are excellent swimmers but depend on sea ice shelves for resting, nesting, hunting, dining and breeding. Climate change has led to the melting away of these ice shelves and polar bears are either starving to death or drowning in the expanding waters.
This is the perfect day to visit an exhibit at your local zoo. Some zoos and wildlife preservation groups offer the opportunity to virtually adopt a polar bear. The concept is similar to adopting children in third world nations. One pays a small adoption fee and receives a certificate of adoption. Proceeds from fees are allocated toward preserving the species.
We’ve all witnessed a polar plunge. The seemingly insane decision to dash into frigid ocean water on New Year’s Day. Why not mark the calendar for International Polar Bear Day, take the plunge, and donate any collected proceeds to a wildlife preservation fund?
Encouraging the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, another popular activity is the Thermostat Challenge. The challenge requires participants living in cold-weather climates to set their thermostats as low as possible and those living in hot-weather climates to set their thermostats as high as possible.
No matter how one feels about the premise of climate change or global warming, everyone loves polar bears. Whether you opt for an icy aquatic plunge or a home thermostat plunge, do your part to celebrate International Polar Bear Day.