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A shocking photo by a European photographer has given the world a good reason to fear for the health of polar bears — but people shouldn't necessarily jump to conclusions, says one expert - reported the Huffington Post.
Kerstin Langenberger, a Germany-based nature photographer posted this image of a "horribly thin," injured bear to her Facebook account last month.
The photo was taken in Norway's Svalbard region, a group of islands in the Arctic Ocean where tourists often go to see polar bears in their natural habitat.
While she often sees fat males who spend all year on pack ice, "many times I have seen horribly thin bears, and those were exclusively females — like this one here," she wrote on Facebook.
Langenberger went on to say that sea ice retreat "further and further north" is forcing female polar bears to look for food on land, where they have their young, and where it's tougher to find nourishment.
She also said a number of the mothers are losing their cubs within two years.