Animal-loving rocker Flea fears polar bears will be extinct within a few years after global officials rejected a proposal to introduce an international ban on the trade of the animal's body parts.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers star expressed his dismay after learning that representatives for the U.S. and Russia had failed to convince their counterparts at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species to pass the new bill, which would effectively shut down the lucrative market in buying and selling polar bear skins, teeth and claws.
Delegates from Denmark and Canada, where the beasts are actively hunted, led the opposition to the ban, which was defeated on Thursday (07Mar13) by 42 votes to 38. Of the 176 nations involved in the Convention, held in Bangkok, Thailand, 46 representatives abstained.
Flea is now calling on the indiginous people of the Arctic to stop hunting polar bears as the species' population, already threatened by climate change, dwindles to an estimated 25,000 worldwide.
Taking to his Twitter.com page, he writes, "i love and respect the inuit, but they need to find another way to make some dough (money) this is too heartbreaking".