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9 polar bears observed on risky open ocean swims

(From ap.google.com) Alaska- Nine polar bears were observed in one day swimming in open ocean off Alaska”s northwest coast, an increase from previous surveys that may indicate warming conditions are forcing bears to make riskier, long-distance swims to stable sea ice or land.

Many were swimming north and ranged from 15 to 65 miles off shore.

Conservation groups fear that one consequence of less ice will be more energy-sapping, long-distance swims by polar bears trying to reach feeding, mating or denning areas.

It probably is not a big deal for a polar bear in good condition to swim 10 or 15 miles, Amstrup said, but swims of 50 to 100 miles could be exhausting.

(By DAN JOLING)

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