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Photographer's Note

Well the actually saying is "Let Sleeping Dogs Lie", but a good word of advice when encountering these top predators.

This sleeping Polar Bear was photographed at the Singapore Zoological Gardens.

Polar bears are native to the circumpolar North; in Denmark (Greenland), Norway, United States, Russia, and Canada which accounts for the majority of their population.

Contrary to popular belief, a Polar Bears fur is not white. Each hair shaft is pigment-free with a hollow core. This hollow core scatters and reflects visible light- much like snow and ice does.
This seemingly white color helps the bears camouflage themselves against the snow and ice while hunting for seals.

Interestingly enough, it's these hollow cored hairs that result in an interesting phenomenon. Last year these bears naturally turned green! Yes, GREEN!

Due to the humidity in Singapore, the conditions were right for algae to flourish inside the hollow cores of their hair. Completely harmless to the bears, they were treated with a special bleach to restore their natural color. This is the second such case, the first was in Los Angeles in the late 70's.

Sadly the Polar Bear is a potentially endangered species, and with the effects of global warming- the future for these magnificent animals looks bleak.

For more information on Polar Bears, please visit www.polarbearsinternational.org

I Hope you like the photo...
- Dan

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Post Production: Image Rotation; cropping, sharpening

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Additional Photos by Dan Walsh (danielswalsh) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1458 W: 363 N: 2367] (13597)
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