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It is believed that polar bears live an average of 15 to 18 years, though some bears have tagged in their early 30s. In some zoo’s bears have been known to live up to the mid 30s. There is only one individual bear that has been known to have lived up to the age of 40.
Biologists believe that starvation is the leading cause of death for sub adult bears, which is probably the reason that when bears are in captivity (a zoo) they live longer.
Polar bears live in Russia, Alaska, and Canada to Greenland. There is no exact number of a population estimate, but biologists believe there is an estimated figure of 22,000 to 25,000 bears, of which 60% of bears are living in Canada.
It all begins in late autumn. The short summer is over, and it gets colder every day as the sun slowly disappears a pregnant polar bears starts looking for place to give birth to its cubs. She walks around until she finds a deep snowdrift. There she starts digging her winter den. The female polar bear uses her claws as shovels to move away the snow this can take a few hours and even up to a couple of days. These dens are thirty to fifty feet long. At the bottom of the tunnel, she makes a small cave. When she is finished digging, she lies down to rest. The drifting snow will close the entrance of the cave and the thick snow will protect her the harsh Artic nights. Then around Christmas or New Year’s she will give birth to her cubs. These bears remain in their habitat for about 6 months, by then the cubs are ready to slowly come to play. The mother will soon start looking for food and will rove the area as the new bears follow.
A polar bear’s home range can be enormous, much bigger than any other species of bears. It is believed that a single polar bear can rove across an area as twice as big as the country of Iceland. An Alaskan polar bear was found a home range 45 times the size of Tennessee.
The diet of polar bears is: walruses, seal, and whale carcasses. Ringed seal is their main food. Polar bears are true carnivores, which mean that they feed mainly of meat. Sometimes these bears walk around for days and weeks without finding any food.
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