Polar bear siblings living at the Oregon Zoo are helping researchers understand their wild counterparts in a unique way! By altering their diets and drawing blood from Tasul and Conrad, researchers are learning valuable information that could help with polar bear conservation.
Tasul and Conrad were put on two different diets- a seafood diet and a meat diet. They were trained to allow veterinary technicians to draw their blood without having to be tranquilized- not too tough, when they’re pampered and fed treats the whole time!
It was previously thought that diet could affect the blood and fur of polar bears for a month or two, but after reviewing blood samples from Tasul and Conrad, it seems that the animal’s diet is reflected in their blood content for six months or longer.
By understanding the effects of diet on animals in captivity, researchers may be able to track diet changes in wild animals and determine whether or not their diets change with global warming. Read more about this research and these awesome polar bears here.