The Arctic areas are already experiencing climate shift effects, and one of the many animals that are in peril are the polar bears. Find out how they are affected and some of the many simple things you can do to help. Mitsu Yasukawa/NorthJersey.com
Annmarie Secreti stood before about two dozen parents and children at the Bergen County Zoo and asked them how they thought they could help the endangered polar bear, despite living far from the Arctic.
“Stop pollution!” Anvit Yelgalwar, age 5, said in a tiny voice.
“Stop pollution! That is an excellent one! I love that! Definitely a fish for you!” Secreti said, her voice thick with carnival-barker excitement.
The game was simple on Sunday morning: answer a question about polar bears, get a colorful fish cutout. Afterward, redeem the fish for goodie-bags loaded with stickers and a bookmark. And along the way, learn a thing or two about one of nature’s most captivating — but most threatened — animals.
Secreti’s 20-minute game, held every hour in the zoo’s Education and Discovery Center, was the zoo’s way of supporting Polar Bear Day 2017, a county-sponsored event that roughly coincides with International Polar Bear Day on Feb. 27.
The worldwide day, organized by the conservation group Polar Bears International, seeks to raise awareness of the polar bears’ plight in the face of warming temperatures and dwindling sea ice. It is endorsed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, an international nonprofit through which the Bergen Zoo is accredited, said Carol Fusco, the park’s senior naturalist.