Population: There are an estimated 20,000 to 25,000 wild polar bears in the world, living in 19 sub-populations.
Reason for extinction: Industrial activities in the Arctic and climate change is the biggest threat to the polar bear, as it's affecting the Arctic sea ice that many polar bears need in order to hunt for food and raise their young. Polar bears eat most of their food (mainly seals) while on the sea ice during spring and early summer. So getting access to enough food at this time is vital.
Circle of life: Polar bears are at the top of the food chain and have an important role in the overall health of the marine environment.
How you can help: The first step is to tackle the climate change - the most important step to protect polar bears is to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions responsible in part for the melting of the polar bears' sea ice habitat. The second step is to address the direct threats from shipping, fishing, and oil and gas activities, particularly in the Norwegian and Russian Arctic regions of the Barents Sea.
Every animal on the planet holds a unique place and a role within the ecosystem and if one disappears, balance is lost affecting other species that it feeds on or that feed on it. So what you learned from Mufasa twenty years ago is actually a worthy lesson. All animals are interconnected and depend on one another to survive. That is the circle of life!
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