Hungry bears eat young: scientists

Scientists say shrinking Arctic sea ice may be forcing some hungry polar bears to cannibalize bear cubs.

Scientists say shrinking Arctic sea ice may be forcing some hungry polar bears to cannibalize bear cubs.

At least seven cases of mature male polar bears eating bear cubs have been spotted this year among the animals around Churchill, Man.

Ian Stirling, a retired Environment Canada biologist who specializes in the Churchill bears, calls it the highest incidence of cannibalization he has ever seen.

Stirling says evidence suggests the cubs are being killed for food, not just so the male can mate with the sow.

He says the Hudson Bay sea ice, which the bears use to get at the seals they need to fatten up for winter, isn’t appearing until weeks later than it used to.

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