Bears Climbing Up Utility Poles?

high-wire bear
Humans aren't the only ones who've been burned by this summer's record heat: a wide variety of animals, ranging from deer to bears, have been forced to flee their natural habitats as temperatures have hit new highs, sometimes rising into the triple digits. As a result, they've often been showing up in some rather unexpected areas.

Rattlesnakes have been appearing everywhere: under porches, in back decks, on playgrounds, basically anywhere they can find shade (and food). Deer and coyotes coming down from the hills have been sighted on and alongside roads and wandering around neighborhood streets. One clearly confused bear was even found climbing up a utility pole to escape the blazing heat. In some cases the animals left their habitats to go looking for food. In other cases, the reasons are less certain. "It is uncharted territory. It is the equivalent of the stories you see on the big droughts in the African Serengetti plains where the animals drop three feet in front of the water hole," said Paul Edelman of the Santa Monica Mountain Conservatory.

Experts are predicting these wildlife excursions will only become more common in the next few years as global warming brings more extreme droughts. They are afraid many vulnerable species will go extinct as a result. "Species that are on the top of mountains, they don't have anywhere else to go where are they going to go?" said Terry Root, a professor at Stanford University. "They're going to go extinct."

Via ::CBS News: Animals Feel The Heat, Flee Their Habitats (news website)

See also: ::Global Warming Causes Cute Overload, ::Antarctic Warming to Reduce Animals at Base of Ecosystem, Shift Penguin Populations, ::Providing a Means of Escape for Wildlife

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