Melting ice is forcing polar bears on land. Polar bear patrols can help As climate change warms up the planet, polar bears are pushed closer to human habitats, leading to dangerous interactions. Polar bear patrol programs help protect both the bears and humans.

Melting ice is forcing polar bears on land. Polar bear patrols can help

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1150647007/1150647008" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

AYESHA RASCOE, HOST:

One consequence of climate change and a warming planet - polar bears are spending more time on land instead of Arctic ice. This means more interactions with humans. Scientists say attacks are rare, but last week, a mother and child were tragically killed by a polar bear in a remote Alaskan village. According to the Associated Press, the incident has residents talking about reviving polar bear patrols. Such patrols raise awareness about humans coexisting with polar bears and try to protect both bears and humans. The AP reports that some tactics used by patrollers to keep polar bears at bay include gently revving snowmobiles or firing beanbags from shotguns. In Russia, one patrol group placed walrus carcasses far from villages to lure bears away. And in Canada, polar bears that can't be frightened off are captured and cared for in chilled environments called bear jails until they can be safely flown back to the ice. Funding has been an obstacle over the years, but there is renewed hope more will be done to encourage these programs.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Copyright © 2023 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.