Every February 27 International Polar Bear Day is celebrated. It is the perfect day to become familiar with this magnificent animal of the wild. They live in the Arctic areas of the northern hemisphere where some of the coldest areas of the world are found; they need to be in temperatures 50 degrees or below. They are found in Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Norway, and Russia. Males do not hibernate and females only hibernate before giving birth. These large bears can reach a height of 9 feet standing on their back paws and can weigh around 1400 pounds . Males are larger than female bears, but they are both HUGE when compared to the size of a human. Polar bears have a thick layer of clear, air-filled fur that luminescence in the light which causes its coat to appear white. As polar bears age, their coat may have a yellowish appearance. Black skin that absorbs the warmth of the sun lies underneath its thick fur. They have 42 teeth. Polar bears can run about 25 miles in an hour and can swim about 6 miles in an hour. They have slightly webbed large front paws that make them powerful swimmers. When they are searching for food, they can swim for 60 miles or more without a rest. They are carnivorous so marine mammals like seals, walruses, and whale carcasses make up the majority of their diet. Using their excellent sense of smell, they are aware of a seal a mile away. They have been known to eat bird eggs and other food sources, but these will not sustain them. Polar bears rarely live more than 25 years in their natural environment.

                Unfortunately, there are only about 25,000 polar bears living today. The decline in population is caused by poaching, pollution, and global warming. Several countries over the years have taken measures to try to prevent the polar bear from becoming extinct. In 1956, Russia outlawed hunting of polar bears. Greenland began regulating the hunting of polar bears in 1994. Canada regulates the hunting of the polar bear. Under the Marine Mammal Protection Act in 1972 and the Endangered Species Act in 2008, the United States began protecting the polar bear.

                Here are some suggestions on how to celebrate National Polar Bear Day. Coca-Cola made people fall in love with these fuzzy majestic beasts with there Coca-Cola bears. Why not toast the polar bear with a glass of Coca-Cola on February 27! Visit a zoo that has a polar bear exhibit. Watch a movie like ARTIC TALES that is about polar bears. There are lots of polar bear movies to select from so watch more than one if time allows. Participate in a polar bear plunge. Bake polar bear cookies. Make a polar bear out of paper and decorate it. Make a contribution to an organization that is working to save the polar bears from extinction. Do some research on the polar bear and make them a friend.

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