Q:

What is the lifespan of a polar bear?

A:

Quick Answer

The life expectancy of a polar bear living in its natural habitat is 15 to 18 years. A polar bear living in captivity can live to be 30 years old.

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Full Answer

The oldest polar bear living in the wild died at age 32. The oldest polar bear living in captivity was a female who died at age 43 in 1991. Polar bears die of starvation when they become unable to hunt because they are too old or are hurt due to fights or accidents. Some that are hurt may die from their injuries. Scientists are unable to research their causes of death because carcasses of dead polar bears are rarely found in their natural habitats.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is an albino polar bear?

    A:

    Albino polar bears would differ from normal polar bears by having pink eyes, skin, noses and gums. To be an albino, a polar bear would need to inherit two copies of a recessive gene that interferes with the production of tyrosinase — an enzyme involved in the production of melanin.

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  • Q:

    What does a shaved polar bear look like?

    A:

    The skin of a polar bear is black, so a shaved polar bear is completely black. The skin has a layer of fat underneath that measures as much as 4.5 inches thick. This fat keeps polar bears warm while swimming since wet fur doesn't insulate well.

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  • Q:

    Can you purchase a pet polar bear?

    A:

    Polar bears cannot be kept as pets because they are an endangered species. It is illegal to personally own, buy, or sell an animal that is classified as an endangered species.

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  • Q:

    What is being done to preserve the polar bear population?

    A:

    Several organizations work to save polar bears by holding federal and state agencies accountable under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, which offers legal protection to designated plants and animals under the federal government. Some advocacy groups include the National Wildlife Federation, World Wildlife Fund and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department.

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