Thematic album for Polar Bear Day

Every year on February 27 the world celebrates International Polar Bear Day. The main purpose of the holiday is to disseminate information about polar bears and draw public attention to the need to protect those wild animals. This holiday was initiated by enthusiast of Polar Bears International, an international organisation the activities of which at preserving the polar bear population on our planet, in 2008.

Polar bears have always been of interest to humans. This strong and powerful animal is the largest land predatory mammal in the world. According to approximate data, today there are about 20–25 thousand animals in the world, 5–7 thousand of which are on the territory of Russia. The polar bear is listed in the Red Data Book of Russia and the Red Data Book of the International Union for Conservation of Nature as a vulnerable species. This animal, which lives in the circumpolar regions of the Northern Hemisphere, is often called the "King of the Arctic Ocean". Over the past decade, the population of this large predator has declined by 40 per cent. Scientists believe that by 2050, due to melting Arctic ice and illegal hunting, the polar bear population could be reduced threefold.

Today, the polar bear is an endangered species listed in the Red Book. Hunting of this predator is completely banned in Russia. According to some data, there are 22 to 30 thousand polar bears in the Arctic. To preserve the population of this animal species, people should provide polar bears with large, safe places to live and not pollute their habitat.

Despite the fact that the polar bear is a dangerous predator, for each of us who have not met it face to face, the polar bear is a childhood memory. A favourite toy, a tasty candy, a figurine on grandma's sideboard and, of course, Umka*.

Today, on Polar Bear Day, you can devote some time to getting know these amazing polar predators by looking through a themed photo album with the images of polar bears presented in the Lapidary and Ivory works of Art section of the museum collection.

* Umka is a 1969 Soviet animated film. It is based on the children's book of the same name by Yuri Yakovlev, who also wrote the screenplay for the film. Umka means "polar bear" in the Chukchi language.

The article is written on the basis of information from open sources