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I was completely captivated by David Attenborough's Frozen Planet the other night, and particularly absorbed watching a polar bear mother, who hadn't eaten for six months, running out of breast milk for her two cubs, trying to track down an evasive seal.

I was completely captivated by David Attenborough's Frozen Planet the other night, and particularly absorbed watching a polar bear mother, who hadn't eaten for six months, running out of breast milk for her two cubs, trying to track down an evasive seal.

(Image from gosurvive.com)

As the bear pounded towards a hole in the ice, the seal darted away, and Attenborough's inimitable dulcit tones hit the viewer with a hard fact: "Nine out of ten polar bear hunts end in failure."

I don't think I really have a profound idea to share in relation to this disarming fact, but it made me wonder how I would feel if every time I wanted to eat, I had only a 10% chance of successfully finding food.

Some would argue that the challenge of human over-population is caused by the human race no longer being obliged to face such acute natural imperatives in the way that other species do. Others would be quick to suggest that we soon will, and that many already do. Indeed, Attenborough himself argued as much in his President's lecture at the RSA earlier this year.

 

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