Remember snow? These polar bear brothers certainly do. These are photos taken by Pittsburgh Zoo’s ace photographer, Paul Selvaggio on the first day Koda and Nuka experienced the white stuff in their new digs. Now, they and thousands of skiers in the area are waiting…and waiting, for more.

In the interim, President Bush has recommended that polar bears be classified as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act. The Arctic ice floes so vital to their survival are melting. It makes the exhibit all the more critical, and, in the coming months, more interactive educational and entertaining displays will be completed in the exhibit. The walruses will also play a big (hahaha-a pun) role in that.

Pardon if I keep pressing the pun button, but global warming is a hot issue. Most meteorologists to whom I talk believe it is happening. The bone of contention is whether this is being wildly accelerated by humans, or it is a natural climactic shift.

All I know is, I hate the thought of these magnificent creatures drowning because they become trapped trying to swim between the floes. Of course, there are human issues involving poverty, and education, and disease that should, and do demand our full attention. But our children and grandchildren deserve to have a planet full of diverse life forms.

Sorry for the serious thoughts the beginning of the year. Guess it’s all this sunshine…which is nice……..

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