If you bought a Coke recently, you’ve probably noticed that there is a polar bear on the bottle. This is because Coca-Cola has started their Arctic Home project, in cooperation with the World Wildlife Fund. This project is dedicated to “ensure there is a home for the polar bears in the future”. They have donated 2 million dollars for this project, which, although generous, isn’t much, when you think of their 2010 profit of 11.8 billion dollars. This project is dedicated to ”ensure there is a home for the polar bears in the future”.
Polar bears recently have been commercialized as a sign of endangered Artic species due to global warming. When you think “endangered artic animal”, you automatically think of polar bears. Well recently, in 2008, a study carried out by the IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, has proven that polar bears are no longer the species that is most at risk of extinction due to ice cap melting because of global warming. The number one species is actually the narwhal, so maybe it should be they who have the honour of being on the iconic coke bottle.
Narwhals are the whales with the spiral tusk, which resembles that of the mythical unicorn. According to Stanford University biologist Terry Root, ”Polar bears are able to adapt a bit while narwhals can’t”. An argued reason for why polar bears are more commercialized than narwhals is that polar bears are white and fluffy which can be seem as cute while narwhals are “not that cute”.
Narwhals have evolved to live in cracks located in the arctic ice, so when it melts, they lose their habitat and are more vulnerable to attack from their predators, such as the killer whale. They are also restricted to what they eat, Greenland halibut, therefore if they are forced to migrate, they will have lost their only source of nutrition.
In conclusion, the next time when you look at a Coke bottle with a polar bear on it, remember it’s not the only endanger species! Remember the narwhal, the underdog of the arctic, even though it’s not as attractive cute.
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