Biologists from the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U. S. Geological Survey teamed with Local residents from Kaktovik, a remote island in the Beaufort Sea, to rescue a polar bear ensnared in a lost fishing net. The 1,000 pound male polar bear was spotted in the sea struggling due to the netting wrapped around his body. Biologists flew close to the bear and shot him with a tranquilizer dart. Local fishermen, nearby in their boats, rushed in to buoy the bear to prevent him from drowning while sedated.

Polar bear on shore.

A polar bear that was trapped in a fishing net rests on shore after being freed. U S geological Survey photo.

Biologists worked feverishly to untangle the bear and he was released back into the wild after they deemed him injury free.

USGS asserts that  climate change continues to affect polar bear habitats and they have established a Polar Bear Recovery Team to protect them. While individual rescues such as this aide in saving small numbers of polar bears, each one, especially females, can be crucial to the populations overall strength. close contact with sedated bears can also reveal scientific information to help evaluate the species.

polar bear and net

Polar bear resting after sedation and removal of fishing net. U. S. geological Survey photo.

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