In his blog, the fellow expressed that it was inhumane what these Canadians are doing with four polar bears. And, on the face of it, this appeared to be true. Making polar bears live in captivity and eat dead fish, instead of roaming free to live the natural life of a polar bear, hunting on the ice for their favorite meal of seal, wandering on the tundra in summer, looking for small mammals, insects, roots and berries.
Instead of the natural order of things, in this place they have a large pool in which the bears may swim and people are permitted to swim with them, so to speak, safely behind a thick plate of glass. A very unnatural and, it was suggested the blogger, frustrating situation for the bears.
The photos included in the email are surreal and elicit certain emotions in the viewer – amazement, disbelief, concern, and finally sadness at the plight of these captive polar bears subjected to such strange circumstances.
But the careful reader does not take things at face value and assume that the Permanent Pilgrim and Pioneering Photographer’s point of view is correct … despite his apparent intelligence, worldliness and charm. The careful reader who sincerely cares about the well-being of the polar bears checks the facts by looking for information about the facility where they are swimming dreaming of children and their tasty flesh.
The Polar Bear Conservation and Education Habitat web site explains that these polar bears were in fact rescued from zoos and other places where they were mistreated and are now undergoing rehabilitation for the mistreatment they received. And the property on which they live is five acres, they are fed whole moose as well as fish and live outside in the snow all winter, digging caves in large snowbanks to wait out snowstorms like they would in the wild.
The web site tells the story of Nanook, a 24 year-old male polar bear who was captured after his mother was murdered by a mining company worker in the High Arctic. At only one year of age he surely would have died not yet having learned from his mother how to hunt.
And then he was rescued by the Polar Bear Conservation and Education Habitat and came to live there in an environment where he would be comfortable, well fed and permitted to interact with a couple of girl polar bears named Nakita and Aurora.