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Polar Bear Facts for Kids

Polar bears are the largest land mammal, and can weigh anywhere from 880-1,500 pounds at their largest. Female polar bears tend to weigh about half of what males weigh. Currently, polar bears are considered to be vulnerable and might be close to being on the endangered animals list soon. Several contributing factors have caused this, including global warming and poaching. Polar bears can swim fairly great distances, and are completely carnivorous, eating animals such as seals, snow foxes, walruses, and other animals that live within their habitat. They can even eat whales, and prefer animals with more fat on their body since this fat helps to keep them warm.

Facts and Family Life of the Polar Bear

Mother polar bears have their cubs in a small cave built under the snow. Typically, a mother polar bear can have anywhere from two to three cubs at once. The cubs follow their mother out into the world until they are several years old. In fact, the babies can nurse till they are about two and a half years of age. The mother teaches the babies how to hunt and survive in the wild, and then they are left on their own. Sometimes male polar bears can be dangerous to the cubs, since the males will actually eat their own in order to survive. This is why the hunting process is so important for them to learn. Polar bears are able to adapt to extremely cold climates and can survive in temperatures several degrees below zero.

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Stats and Endangerment of the Polar Bear

Currently there are estimated to be about 22-25,000 polar bears in the wild today. This number is dwindling though and some experts believe that they have decreased in population as much as 30-40 percent over the last several decades. Many native people will poach or kill polar bears for their fur and meat. Many organizations are now fighting for the lives and environment of polar bears and are seeking out protection for them as well as new ways to prevent global warming.