Year: 2003 (October 30, 2003)
11″ x 8.5″
Media: Canon® Pro Platinum High Gloss Photo Paper
Printers: Canon® PIXMA
Artist: Luc Paquin
Zoológico de Chapultepec
Chapultepec Zoo is a zoo located in Chapultepec Park; it is one of four zoos near Mexico City, and the best known Mexican zoo. It was founded July 6, 1923 by Mexican biologist Alfonso Luis Herrera using donations from private citizens and governmental funds from the Ministry of Agriculture and Development, and also with funds from the Society of Biological Studies. The zoo is rather popular after a recent renovation begun in 1992 which took two years; estimates of its popularity range from 5.5 million visitors per year to as much as 8 million, who all come to see its large collection of almost 2000 animals from more 200 different species. It is the second largest zoo in Mexico after the Guadalajara Zoo in Guadalajara, Jalisco.
The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) is a carnivorous bear whose native range lies largely within the Arctic Circle, encompassing the Arctic Ocean, its surrounding seas and surrounding land masses. It is a large bear, approximately the same size as the omnivorous Kodiak bear (Ursus arctos middendorffi). A boar (adult male) weighs around 350-700 kg, while a sow (adult female) is about half that size. Although it is the sister species of the brown bear, it has evolved to occupy a narrower ecological niche, with many body characteristics adapted for cold temperatures, for moving across snow, ice, and open water, and for hunting the seals which make up most of its diet. Although most polar bears are born on land, they spend most of their time at sea. Their scientific name means “maritime bear”, and derives from this fact. Polar bears hunt their preferred food of seals from the edge of sea ice, often living off fat reserves when no sea ice is present.
The polar bear is classified as a vulnerable species, with eight of the nineteen polar bear subpopulations in decline. For decades, large scale hunting raised international concern for the future of the species but populations rebounded after controls and quotas began to take effect. For thousands of years, the polar bear has been a key figure in the material, spiritual, and cultural life of Arctic indigenous peoples, and polar bears remain important in their cultures.