It doesn’t take much anthropomorphic empathy to size this sad situation up
National Geographic reported that Polar Bears International tracked one of its 68 radio-collared female bears on a 687 kilometer (427 mile) 9-day swim, apparently necessitated by melting sea ice.
She lost her cub and 22 percent of her body weight in the process.
Anne Casselman, Longest Polar Bear Swim Recorded—426 Miles Straight, National Geographic News (20 July 2011)
Cub deaths have obvious negative effects on bear populations.
A 22 percent body maternal weight loss probably has equally significant negative effects on life length and reproductive fitness over time.
Being powerless to save one’s cub — during an interminable swim marked by cold, fatigue, and severe weight loss — sums climate change in a telling way.
I wonder how she felt when her paws finally touched sea-bottom. And staggered landward, absent the companion her genes had directed her to protect.
In a Darwinian world, the moral shortcomings of being human don’t exist.
In a world of mindful consciousness, evidence of our depredations makes us wonder about Expanded Wholeness and our responsibilities to it.