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那只瘦骨嶙峋、“快要死去的”北极熊

更新时间:2017-12-13 11:13:32 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Video of Starving Polar Bear ‘Rips Your Heart Out of Your Chest’
那只瘦骨嶙峋、“快要死去的”北极熊

As his boat came around a corner last August, Paul Nicklen spotted what at first looked like a white blanket draped over a rock. And although he kept his distance, it soon became clear the blanket was not actually a blanket at all; it was a polar bear — one Mr. Nicklen thought was surely dead.

今年八月,保罗·尼克伦(Paul Nicklen)在船驶过一个拐角时看见一个东西,乍一看是一块石头上盖了张白色的毯子。虽然保持着距离,但他很快就看出来,那根本就不是一块毯子,而是一头北极熊——尼克伦当时以为它肯定已经死了。

The polar bear, though, was not dead — at least not yet. And when it managed to stand up, Mr. Nicklen, a visual storyteller, snapped a photo. When he published it on Instagram, the image garnered such a strong response that he knew he needed to return with other members of his conservation organization and the proper filming equipment. Mr. Nicklen, 49, wanted to show people what a starving polar bear really looked like — he wanted to make a scientific data point something real.

但它并没有死——至少当时还没有。当它试图站起身时,身为视觉叙事人的尼克伦抓拍了一张照片。他把照片发到了Instagram上,引发强烈反响。于是他知道,他必须带上合适的摄影器材,和他的保护组织的其他成员再去一次。49岁的尼克伦想让人们看到,快被饿死的北极熊到底是什么样的——他要把一个科学数据点变成某种真实的东西。

So he and a small group came back to the spot in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago about two days later. Then they watched: as the polar bear rummaged through a rusted trash can, as it nibbled at an old snowmobile seat, as its eyes turned downcast, its spirit defeated.

因此,大约在两天之后,他和他的小组重返加拿大北极群岛的那个地点。接着,他们看着北极熊在一个生锈的垃圾桶里东翻西找,看着它一点点啃咬着一个旧雪橇坐垫,看着它低下双眼,精神涣散。

“It rips your heart out of your chest,” Mr. Nicklen said in a telephone interview on Sunday. “As soon as he did a slow stand on his feet, everybody on the team just started crying.”

“这让人痛心疾首,”尼克伦在周日的电话采访中说道。“当他缓缓站起来的时候,团队里的人就全都哭了。”

Last week, Mr. Nicklen, his group SeaLegacy and National Geographic published photos and videos from the encounter. They showed the world the polar bear, stranded on iceless land, its white coat dirtied, its body emaciated, its movements labored.

上周,尼克伦、他的“海洋遗产”(SeaLegacy)组织和《国家地理》(National Geographic)杂志一同发布了这次经历的照片和视频,向全世界展示这头北极熊被困在无冰的陆地上,白色的皮毛满是污垢,身体瘦削,行动艰难。

And when the world saw, millions recoiled in heartbroken horror.

当世界看到这一幕时,令人心碎的骇人场面令数百万人大为惊愕。

“Inexcusable,” wrote one commenter on Instagram.

“不可原谅,”一个人在Instagram上评论道。

“So sad,” said many more.

“太悲哀了,”许多人说。

“What,” several asked, “can we do?”

有几个人问,“我们能做些什么?”

Experts and environmentalists say the broad answer — however controversial and nuanced it may be — is to reduce the present levels of global greenhouse gas emissions in order to curb global warming. In January, federal wildlife officials issued a report that called climate change the biggest threat to the survival of the polar bear.

尽管有诸多的争议和一言难尽的地方,但专家和环保主义者表示,最基本的回答就是要减少目前世界范围内的温室气体排放量,以抑制全球变暖。一月,联邦野生动物保护官员发布了一份报告,称气候变化是北极熊生存的最大威胁。

Polar bears depend on sea ice as a platform for hunting seals. As the planet warms, that ice cover melts earlier and earlier, limiting the amount of time polar bears have to hunt and build up their fat reserves before moving to land. As a result, they can end up skinny and in poor physical health by the end of long ice-free summers.

北极熊捕猎海豹需要依靠海洋冰层作为平台。随着全球变暖,冰盖融化的时间越来越早,限制了北极熊捕食以及在上岸前囤积脂肪的时间。这样的结果就是在无冰的夏季结束后,它们会变得瘦骨嶙峋,身体健康状况很糟。

Biologists agree that as ice cover continues to decrease, there will be a significant drop in the polar bear population, which according to federal wildlife officials stands at about 26,000 globally. A 2015 assessment projected a reduction of over 30 percent in the number of polar bears by 2050.

生物学家也认为,随着冰盖持续消融,北极熊数量会显著下滑。根据联邦野生动物保护官员统计,全球北极熊数量大约在2.6万头。一份2015年的评估预计,到2050年,北极熊数量会有超过30%的减少。

“Polar bears are built for a feast-or-famine type of eating,” said Elisabeth Kruger, an arctic wildlife program officer with the World Wildlife Fund. “But when that period of fasting gets too long, it can put them on the brink.”

“北极熊生来就是大饱大饿的饮食习惯,”世界自然基金会(World Wildlife Fund)北极野生动物项目官员伊丽莎白·克鲁格(Elisabeth Kruger)说道。“但禁食期太长就会危及它们的生命。”

Polar bears have been labeled threatened under the Endangered Species Act act since 2008. They are among the largest members of the bear species and prey heavily on seals.

根据《濒危物种保护法》(Endangered Species Act),北极熊从2008年起被列为受威胁物种。作为体型最庞大的熊类物种之一,北极熊需要大量捕食海豹。

All of which makes the viral images of a fur-and-bones polar bear particularly striking. The bear Mr. Nicklen and his team documented was stuck on land, its muscles atrophied by continuing starvation, and apparently on the edge of death.

此类种种,都让这只传遍网络的皮包骨北极熊的照片更加触目惊心。尼克伦和他的团队记录下的这只熊被困在了陆地上,持续的饥饿让它的肌肉萎缩,显然已经濒临死亡。

One would have to do “a lot of specific investigating” to determine the cause of suffering for a particular polar bear, Ms. Kruger said, but what is captured in Mr. Nicklen’s photo “is one of the ways polar bears die.”

克鲁格说,某一头北极熊是受到什么困扰,需要做“大量具体的调查工作”才能明确,但是,尼克伦的镜头所捕捉到的“是北极熊的其中一种死法。”

Most of the feedback Mr. Nicklen has received on social media appears positive, if twined with sadness. (The viral video of the polar bear, he noted, has been slowed from normal speed.) But he has also received blowback from some who have complained he did not do enough to help.

尼克伦在社交媒体上收到的回应虽然饱含悲伤,但大多是正面的。(他指出,在网上疯传的北极熊视频的速度被放慢了。)但他也收到了一些批评,谴责他没有提供足够的帮助。

“People assume you’re just coldhearted,” he said. “Of course we’re upset.” But feeding the polar bear would not only prolong its misery, he said, it would have been illegal. And “for me to take a gun up to that polar bear and kill it, now you’re looking at jail.”

“人们会假设你就是个铁石心肠的人,”他说。“我们当然会难过。”但向北极熊喂食不仅会延长它的痛苦,同时也是违法的。而要是“拿把枪过去把它打死,那你就等着坐牢吧”。

This is not the first time a downtrodden polar bear has captured the hearts of humans. After all, they are “incredibly charismatic,” Ms. Kruger said, and “big, white, fluffy creatures.”

这不是人类第一次被处在苦难之中的北极熊牵动心灵。毕竟,它们“极其的有魅力,”克鲁格说,是“巨大的、洁白的、毛茸茸的生物。”

Last year, a polar bear named Pizza garnered the support of millions of people worldwide when animal welfare advocates began a campaign to move “the world’s saddest polar bear,” as he was known, from a mall in southern China, where the bear lived in a glass enclosure.

去年,当动物福利倡导人士开展了一场为“世界上最悲伤的北极熊”搬家的活动时,一只名叫“披萨”(Pizza)的北极熊得到了全世界数百万人的支持,当时它生活在中国南方一家商场的一个有玻璃墙的封闭区域里。

Mr. Nicklen said the polar bear he and his team found was never given a cute human name. But he said everyone on the team called it by the same phrase: “The dying polar bear.”

尼克伦说,他和他的团队发现的这头北极熊并没有得到一个可爱的人类名字。但他说团队里的每一个人都用同一种措辞来称呼它:那只“快要死去的北极熊”。

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