When Irish Eyes are Smiling They May Belong to a Polar Bear

Arctic drilling places endangered species like this Polar Bear in harm's way (photo: flickr/longhorndave)

Leprechauns, clovers and polar bears may have more in common than you think. According to DNA research, the big white animals may be able to trace their ancestry back to the Emerald Isles. Researchers says today’s white polar bears may be descended from an extinct species of Irish brown bear. This ancient genetic link comes from the Arctic creatures’ maternal line, a polar bear Eve, if you will.

Modern polar bears are considered a threatened species because of the decline of their sea ice habitat due to climate change. The animals are being pushed farther inland into habitats they may  not be well adapted to. There are about 20,0000 to 25,000 wild polar bears left according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

These great giants can depend on more than just the luck of the Irish to get them through these desperate times. Click here to take action to protect polar bears.