They hope the video will awaken people to the effects of climate change and to take action to save future bears from suffering a similar fate. He rummages inside a a nearby trash can used seasonally by Inuit fishers, finds nothing and resignedly collapses back down onto the ground.
The bear was not too old but it was frail and probably died within hours of being captured on the video, Nicklen said. "This is what a starving bear looks like", he said in a Twitter post. "It's a soul-crushing scene that still haunts me".
Mr Nicklen said he blamed the animal's death on climate change and filmed the clip because he did not want its death to be in vain.
'People think that we can put platforms in the ocean or we can feed the odd starving bear.
"My entire Sea Legacy team was pushing through their tears and emotions while documenting this dying polar bear", wrote photographer Paul Nicklen in the lengthy caption accompanying the video, shared on Instagram.
According to Nicklen, they were emotional when they filmed the struggling bear looking close to its death.
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"My entire Sea Legacy team was pushing through their tears and emotions while documenting this dying polar bear", photographer Paul Nicklen wrote on social media after he published the footage this week.
Every step looks like it hurts, at times the bear plunges forward as if he can no longer go on, at others, one of his legs drags behind him. It's a slow, painful death. "We must reduce our carbon footprint, eat the right food, stop cutting down our forests, and begin putting the Earth-our home-first".
He's been asked why he didn't do something to help, he said, but it's illegal to feed wild polar bears in Canada, and there was little he could have done even if it weren't. With @CristinaMittermeier #turningthetide with @Sea_Legacy #bethechange #nature #naturelovers This video is exclusively managed by Caters News.
The film-makers drew a direct line between the bear's state and climate change.
Nicken's colleague, Cristina Mittermeier, said polar bears need hundreds of pounds of meat to survive, but that the gradual melting of ice in the region has made it hard for them to catch seals - their primary food source. With ice gone for longer periods in the year, the bears have less time to hunt and more time without food. "But it's not like I walk around with a tranquilizer gun or 400 pounds of seal meat". Basically, they are all sorts of cute, but they are also one of the most risky predators, also known as the world's largest land predators.
"Polar bears rely heavily on sea ice environment for traveling, hunting, mating, resting, and in some area, maternal dens". A 2017 study by the US Geological Survey and the University of Wyoming concluded that bears are also spending more energy walking across a "treadmill" of drifting sea ice caused by warming, and needed to eat more to compensate.