00:11 GMT06 July 2020
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    International Polar Bear Day instituted by Polar Bears International will be annually marked on February 27 and aims to make people more aware of the dangers and challenges faced by these awe-inspiring animals as the Arctic region warms up.

    Hunting the hunter

    Polar Bear Day celebrates one of nature’s most impressive hunters, and the world’s largest carnivore. There are an estimated 26,000 polar bears living in the world today but their population is shrinking fast as global warming is impacting their habitat and food sources.

    “In Russia hunting for polar bears has been outlawed since 1957, but thousands of them are killed every year in Canada, the United States and Greenland,” environmental expert Viktor Nikiforov told Sputnik.

    He added that poachers were still taking their toll on Russia’s Arctic coast.

    7 facts you didn’t know about polar bears

    1. Polar bears are among the largest land mammals on Earth. Male bears can weigh up to a ton and stand an enormous three meters in height.

    2. They can run at up to 40 kilometers an hour. They can’t run long distances though because they overheat.

    3. Polar bears have an excellent sense of smell, sniffing their prey kilometers away.

    4. Polar bears are great swimmers and can cover 60 miles without taking a rest.

    5. Even though their fur looks white, the long outer hairs which protect their soft, thick undercoat, are mostly hollow and transparent. Their hair looks white because the air cavities in the hairs scatter light of all colors. When something reflects all of the visible wavelengths of light, the color white is seen.

    6. A polar bear can devour 10 percent of its own weight in just an hour.

    7. Not all polar bears go to sleep during the winter season. Only pregnant females do.

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