Landlocked Polar Bear
The polar bear near the scientists' campsite off the Beaufort Sea. Polar bears have become increasingly confined to land as Arctic sea ice melts.
Mama bear and cubs
Global Warming May Kill Polar Bears, Scientist
Polar bear on the Cape Churchill Peninsula of western Hudson Bay.
Baby polar bear
World's Cutest Baby Wild Animals
Though they are cuddly creatures when young, polar bear babies grow up to be ferocious predators. They are controversial zoo inhabitants, as many conservationists argue that it's unnatural to breed these violent bears in zoos, rather than in their natural habitat. However, that habitat is swiftly disappearing as the polar bear's home –the arctic ice – is diminishing rapidly due to climate change.
Knut at the zoo
Knut at the Berlin Zoo.
The Berlin Zoo's beloved polar Bear Knut, whose antics and cute demeanor charmed the world, died unexpectedly over the weekend, on March 19.
What Big Paws You Have
A researcher examines the paws of a sedated polar bear in this 1982 photograph taken in Alaska. Polar bears' giant paw pads help them keep traction on ice and snow.
A polar bear sniffs at the camera
Also known as the "grolar" or "prizzly" bear, this is a stuffed polar-grizzly hybrid at the Rothschild Museum in Tring, England
Polar Bears Forced to Land and Water
Polar bears depend on sea ice for hunting, breeding and denning. The bears wait for seals to pop up through breathing holes in the ice, but since the ice is melting earlier and earlier in the year, polar bears are shifting their habitat to land and water, and may be missing out on hunting opportunities.