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03/14/2013

Say goodbye to the polar bear  »

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Too bad, polar bears, but a bunch of us humans don’t want to stop selling your pelts on the open market, so you can expect to be hunted to extinction.

This issue is tied up with politics surrounding Canada’s First Nations, specifically the Inuit:

There are about 25,000 polar bears left in the world with an estimated 16,000 living in the Canadian Arctic. Canada is the only country that permits the export of polar bear parts.

Each year around 600 polar bears are killed there, mainly by native hunters. According to Inuit representatives, the pelts from around 300 bears are sold for rugs. Other parts including fangs and paws are also exported.

The Inuit say they get an average of $4,850 per pelt. They argue that this is a critical economic resource for a people that do not have much else.

The trouble with that argument is that in conjunction with global warming destroying their ecosystem, the bears won’t be around to hunt much longer. Say goodbye to polar bears, everyone; the next generations won’t even know what they are.

[Story via Ken Layne’s Animal Beat. Photo by Valerie via Flickr]

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