In a recent study in Canada, scientists have discovered that polar bears in the Canadian Arctic are making marathon swims in search of ice as the Beaufort Sea ice is melting due to dramatic climate change.
The polar bears swim at least 50 kilometres for several days. A marathon is approximately 26. 2 miles.
As per the scientists, the polar bear population in the Beaufort Sea has declined sharply in the past ten years.
Around 69 % of the female polar bears began long distance swims in 2012 as the sea ice cover had melted.
The researchers tracked 58 adult female polar bears and 18 young bears of both genders in the Beaufort Sea and 59 adult females in the Hudson Bay region between 2007 and 2012.
Due to the wide necks on them, many adult males remove their collars, and it becomes difficult to track them.
The scientists reveal that the polar bears from the Hudson Bay rarely made long-distance swims.
The polar bears migrate long distances to find better habitats for their stay because they cannot survive in any ice zones. 115 long distance swims were in the study.
Out of which, 100 in the Beaufort Sea swam approximately 92 kilometres in a span of three to four days. On an average, polar bears can swim at about two km/h.
According to the lead author of the study, Nicolas Pilfold, these bears rarely rest while they swim. Polar bears differ in their swimming capability and thus it ‘s hard to track the bear cubs.
A female polar bear is said to have swum a distance equivalent to 16 marathons off the coast of Alaska. After swimming nearly 700 kilometres through the Beaufort Sea over nine days, she went on to swim and walk on the sea ice for an additional 1,800 miles over a period of about two months.