Polar bears at Vienna Zoo play in the snow as organisation joins scheme to protect endangered species

Video: https://www.dropbox.com/s/nzkwxivgsq9wpzi/VRP12360.mp4?dl=0

Polar bears enjoyed playing in the snow at a Zoo in Vienna, Austria, this week.

Staff at the Schoenbrunn Zoo recorded the polar bears, giant pandas and Amur leopards to celebrate joining the endangered species protection alliance.

Although the animals featured in the scenes are safe from poaching and starvation, their distant relatives in the wilderness are facing harsh environmental conditions as a result of current climate change and habitat loss.

Schoenbrunn Zoo said they have joined a global initiative called United for Biodiversity along with 150 national parks, zoos, natural history museums, and research centres from all over the world in their fight against species extinction.

The campaign was organised at the initiative of the European Commission, which is calling for a stronger mobilisation in raising awareness about the need to protect biodiversity.

Virginijus Sinkevicius, EU Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, said: ‘All species, from bacteria to mammals, plants to insects, are pieces of the big puzzle of life. They are all connected and depend on each other.

‘Yet, one species, our species is now responsible for the climate crisis and the nature crisis, causing massive biodiversity loss. By destroying Earth ecosystems, we humans are jeopardising our food, our health, our economy and our own future.’

Zoo director Hering-Hagenbeck said that maintaining biological diversity is the greatest challenge of our times.

He said: ‘Every species of animal and plant that is exterminated is irretrievably lost and brings the entire ecosystem out of balance, with serious consequences for us humans as well.’