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Polar Bears on Thin Ice?

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posted on Mar, 25 2010 @ 03:23 PM
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Here is a story that will tickle your innerds.

At the San Diego Zoo polar bears are now on thin ice, at least that's the word from the zoo as a new million dollar expansion to its polar bear experience opens this week. The zoo has spent considerable time and money to make the exhibit interactive, but some critics complain with this interaction comes politics and they argue the zoo should stay out of a policy debate. FOLLOW ADAM ON TWITTER As you make your way through this exhibit there's a carbon calculator, a walk that shows a shrinking ice cap and multiple displays showing the problems associated with climate change. For the consumer the displays are catchy, interactive and colorful. People here at the San Diego Zoo say the whole experience helps visitors better understand the arctic and the loss of habitat for polar bears as climate change continues. They tell me their exhibit features "the best science out there." As you might imagine not everyone is happy with this display and claim the zoo is jumping into politics and a very heated (no pun intended) debate. Some scientists and a few supporters of the zoo contend that climate change is not happening as sold to the public and even if it is, man is not causing it. Some also argue that polar bears adapted before and can do so again and to assume that man can kill them off by CO2 emissions is an unfair and untrue claim. When presented with this argument the Zoo stands strong. They maintain the Polar Bear Experience is all about the best science out there and whether you believe in climate change or not, what's wrong with cleaning and preserving the environment anyway. Officials here have heard some of these complaints, but they tell me the overwhelming response has been nothing but positive. While the Zoo isn't the first in the country to take a side on the global warming/climate change debate, they are the most visible and most famous zoo in the world to do so. The climate change portion of the exhibit has grabbed the attention of the press so far, but the big news is an interactive wall that lets visitors see a polar bear up close...only a few feet from a feeding point and that is quite impressive. On this morning I got a look at 'Chinook', a 580-pound, 8-foot tall bear. She is part of a breeding pair that the zoo hopes will produce its first cub born here in captivity. At 15-years old, Chinook wanders out of her den and over to the wall, stopping to smell places along the way. The water gently laps onto the shore, kept about 50 degrees. She walks up to the wall and snacks on grapes and yams fed to her by her trainer and live on TV we get quite a look. What do you think about all this?






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