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5,000 polar bears expected to be born around New Year's

Dec. 28, 2013 at 11:22 AM   |   Comments

MOSCOW, Dec. 28 (UPI) -- The World Wildlife Fund for Nature says about 5,000 polar bears are expected to be born in the Arctic around New Year's.

New Year's is the time of year when polar bears give birth in the Arctic, RIA Novosti reported.

Every year on Dec. 29, the World Wildlife Fund for Nature celebrates a polar bear birthday to mark the period between December and January when polar bear cubs are born. The organization started the practice in 2007.

Between 5,000 and 6,000 polar bears live in the Russian Arctic, and there are about 20,000 to 25,000 worldwide, said Russia's natural resources minister, Sergei Donskoi.

"Unfortunately, little is known about how many polar bears are in Russia, because a comprehensive study of only one [of the three] major group requires ... millions of dollars," said Viktor Nikiforov, of the World Wildlife Fund for Nature's Russian branch.

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