A Picture is Worth... Algae-Dyed Polar Bears

green bear photo

Image from Shuzo Shikano/Kyodo News

Before you start getting worried, let me reassure you that this is not a case of a genetic engineering experiment gone terribly wrong. No, apparently it's just your typical case of polar bears swimming in a particularly algae-rich pond, as the AP reports:

Three normally white polar bears at Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens in central Japan changed their color in July after swimming in a pond with an overgrowth of algae.

High temperatures in July and August and less-frequent water changes because of the zoo's conservation efforts caused an algae growth in the bear pond and safety moat, Kurobe said.

If you thought cleaning up an algae outbreak was hard work, try scrubbing down each and every bit of the bears' fur (keeping in mind that you're working with bears here). Fortunately, the bears are expected to make a full "recovery" by the end of November, when the algae growth will have relented (somewhat).

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