Polar Bears Experiencing Skin Lesions and Hair Loss

Nine Alaskan polar bears near the southern Beaufort Sea were found with skin lesions and hair loss in the past two weeks, according to the The United States Geological Survey (USGS). It isn’t known what is causing these conditions, but they could be man-made and natural biotoxins, radiation, contaminants, auto-immune diseases, nutritional, hormonal and environmental factors. The same problems were also observed in seals and walruses in the region.

According to a USGS memo,”Evidence of alopecia and other skin lesions may be difficult to see unless the bear can be observed closely. In the polar bears that USGS has observed to date,
the most common areas affected include the muzzle and face, eyes, ears and neck.”

In the southern Beaufort Sea region a USGS survey estimated there were about 1,526 polar bears.
Because of climate change, there is less and less ice available for polar bears in this area. Offshore oil drilling began there in the early 1970s due to the presence of large oil and gas reservoirs.

Polar bears are vulnerable to man-made pollutants due to the fact wind currents carry them there from other places, so they can accumulate in large quantities. Polar bear bones have already been weakened by these pollutants.

US Geologica Survey scientists encouraged anyone who has observed a polar bear in Alaska with the conditions mentioned above to report it to this phone number: 907-786-7034.

Image Credit: USGS

Related Links

BP Employee Shots Polar Bear

Teen Helps Polar Bears

Love This? Never Miss Another Story.


Michele Wilkinson

Sadly noted.

J.L. A.
JL A.3 years ago

so sad

Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W.3 years ago

very sad

Graham McCrossan
graham McCrossan3 years ago

Another worrying fact among so many i am sad to say !

Marie W.
Marie W.3 years ago

Japan radiation- nuff said.

Valentina R.
Valentina R.3 years ago

Awful, awful humans, look at what you are doing to animals.

Milkah Savage
Past Member 3 years ago

Sadly the health problems with the polar bears is all at the hands of man.

Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson3 years ago

oh no! find out what is causing it and FIX it.. they are already endangered.

Carrie Anne Brown

thanks for sharing

Sue H.
Sue H.3 years ago

Since the polar bears have the lesions on their heads and necks I would think this is from something they are eating. They do tend to get their heads into their prey to eat the insides first. I hope the culprit is found.