A new live polar bear webcam which allows viewers to watch a small cub grow, also aims to promote efforts to protect polar bears and their arctic habitat.
Siku, a young polar bear cub who was born last November at the Scandinavian Wildlife Park (SWP) in Denmark, began appearing on a live webcam Monday.
The webcam, organized by SWP, Polar Bears International (PBI) and explore.org, is intended to spread a message the organizations are calling "Siku's Wish." According to a press release, they hope "people everywhere [will] reduce their carbon footprint to save the arctic ice and all the species which depend on it for survival."
Siku's high-definition webcam will be available for a few hours daily on explore.org. The live feed will not interrupt the cub's normal routine or introduce "anything foreign into his environment," according to a press release.
Born in captivity at the Scandinavian Wildlife Park, Siku was removed from his mother, who wasn't able to produce enough milk for him. A park manager told the Associated Press that Siku "was moaning and being unruly all the time," and that he was in danger of death if he was left with his mother. Check out images of young Siku receiving attentive care last year.
The webcam's organizers hope footage of the inquisitive cub will inspire compassion for his vulnerable brethren. Charlie Annenberg, found of explore.org, said, "When people are inspired to fall in love with the world again, they are more likely to be better stewards of the planet."
New reports have suggested that polar bear cannibalism could be on the rise due to climate change, as photos emerged last year of a polar bear eating a cub in the Arctic. The photographer wrote in the journal Arctic, "As the climate continues to warm in the Arctic and the sea ice melts earlier in the summer, the frequency of such intraspecific predation may increase."
Polar bears are dependent upon sea ice to eat. According to Polar Bears International, they use the ice to reach ringed and bearded seals, their chief prey.
Click here to view two live webcams of Siku on explore.org and read PBI's tips for living greener. Check out images of Siku below, courtesy of Søren Koch/Hilmer & Koch Nature Photography and scroll down for a video clip.