Slumped across a bleak landscape, skinny and exhausted, this polar bear collapsed and died after finding no suitable sea ice to hunt seals on, scientists have said.
Polar bear scientist Ian Stirling found the dead bear in southern Svalbard on an Arctic cruise, just months after it was last tracked by the Norwegian Polar Institute.
The animal had travelled hundreds of miles in search of sea ice in which to catch its food, but found none.
Scientists have warned climate change could see the Arctic free of ice in around 40 years time, and that the future for the creatures is a bleak one.
The polar bear died after running out of energy in its hunt for food
Earlier this week Dr Stirling said the loss of sea ice is depleting resources for animals and plants in the region.
"We're losing all the things that life depends on," he was quoted by the Ottawa Citizen as saying.
A study published in the journal Science, which Dr Stirling co-authored, warned: "Primary producers dependent on sea ice as their habitat underpin the entire marine food web of the Arctic".
"The loss of over two million square kilometres of Arctic sea ice since the end of the last century represents a stunning loss of habitat."
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