22nd February 2013
Among Derocher’s scenarios is using helicopters to airdrop food on polar bears as their icy habitat continues to melt — at a cost of $32,000 per day for the “most accessible” bears. (The hope is that such interventions would last days per year, not months).
“It’s a lot better to have some animals in the wild even if they are being supplemented in their food. If we were basically the sole food source for these animals, then we’re going to have some very serious issues. Then it won’t really be a polar bear anymore,” Derocher said on the phone. “It will be a semi-wild, semi-captive, free-ranging carnivore. And it probably wouldn’t do that well even if the ice started to come back” since the bear would become so dependent on the airlifted food that he may forget how to hunt.
(Sigh). It’s really come to this.