Recently there has been a rise in the occurrence of hair loss among bears. Bears are furry animals naturally and hair loss makes them look eerie.
This balding condition in bears is attributable to a number of factors, some of which can be remedied. Here are some interesting facts about this hairless bear that you might not have known before.
Interesting facts about Dolores the hairless bear
- There is almost no resemblance at all between her and a one that has its fur on. Many people think that they look like a fictitious character from a movie. They cannot relate it to any animal in existence.
- Dolores, a bear living in a German zoo, is the most popular. Photos of her went viral on the internet in the year 2009. She brought the realization of the existence.
- A polar bear cannot survive if it were to lose all its hair. The thick fur on their skin, together with the large amounts of fat deposited under their skin enable polar bears to keep warm in the freezing temperatures of the North Pole.
If a polar bear were to bald completely, it would die from freezing.
More about Dolores
- The first polar bear to start losing fur was spotted in the year 1999. Ever since the number of polar bears with fur loss has increased drastically to about twenty-eight percent of their entire population.
However, loss of hair in polar bears occurs on the neck only. Not even one single polar bear has been reported to bald completely.
- Parasitic mites cause mange, which is the commonest cause of hair loss in bears.These parasitic mites are communicable to human beings. You might want to be cautious when visiting a zoo.
- Dolores was not the only balding bear in her zoo. Other bears from the same zoo were later found to start balding. This could rule out the formally held notion that her disorder was genetically inherited.
Probably there was a deficiency in the diet which was fed to the bears by the zookeepers.
- Mange, a disorder that causes balding in bears can affect any other mammal. Mange is very common in dogs as well.
Rabbits, guinea pigs, squirrels, and rats have also been observed to lose hair after getting infected with mange.
- A balding bear uses its fat reserves for insulation against cold. This makes her appear thinner than one with hair.
- Balding bears can feel intimidated which may cause them to turn rogue. In instances where the balding has been caused by mange, the skin of the bear can irritate a lot and cause discomfort.
- Scientists have also established that balding in bears could be caused by some allergies.
Bears living in zoos could be allergic to some of the chemicals used in cleaning their pens or to some of the additives put in their foods.
- The occurrence of balding in bears is not the common case. Do not expect to walk in the woods and come across a balding bear.
- It has not been fully established yet, why polar bears are losing hair.
Scientists are however carrying out their studies in a bid to establish the cause of balding and save the polar bear which is now an endangered species
There are several factors that cause bears to lose their fur.
Mange is a disorder common to mammals which results in a skin condition. Mange is caused by parasitic mites. These mites are transmittable to other mammals. As such, animals living together can transfer the mites to each other, resulting in transmission of the skin disorder. Mange has been blamed for hair loss in bears in some instances.
Animals living in zoos may lack in proper nutrition in some instances. They may, as a result, develop some conditions due to the deficiencies. Hair loss is attributable to lack of certain nutrients in the animals diets.This factor may, however, fail to apply in most scenarios. This is because zoo keepers strive to feed animals at the zoo with the most appropriate diets.
In some other instances, hereditary genetic disorders are to blame for the loss of hair in bears. Dolores (the bear from a German zoo who lost all her hair some years ago) is said to have inherited the disorder which caused her to bald almost completely.
Some polar bears have been noticed in the recent past to have a disorder that causes them to lose hair along the neck especially. Animals with this condition are also noted to weigh a lot less. The causes for this condition are believed to be climate change, pollution and nutrient deficiency.