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Is the polar bear ready to step up as Canada's national emblem?

Mathieu Belanger / Reuters

A polar bear swims underwater in the St-Felicien Wildlife Zoo in St-Felicien, Quebec, Canada, on October 31. According to Environment Canada, Canada is home to around 15,000 of the estimated 20,000 polar bears in the world. The U.S. (Alaska), Russia, Denmark (Greenland) and Norway are the other four countries where polar bears can be found.

According to a Reuters report on October 28, a Canadian senator has launched a campaign to replace the industrious beaver with the indomitable polar bear as her country's national emblem.

Describing the beaver as "a dentally defective rat," Conservative politician Nicole Eaton told the Senate that beavers wreak havoc on the dock at her waterfront cottage every summer.

"A country's symbols are not constant and can change over time," she said. "The polar bear, with its strength, courage, resourcefulness and dignity is perfect for the part."

The polar bears at St-Felicien Wildlife Zoo in Quebec certainly seemed to be living up to their billing as they played up for the cameras on Monday.

Mathieu Belanger / Reuters

A polar bear jumps into the water at the St-Felicien Wildlife Zoo on October 31.

Mathieu Belanger / Reuters

A polar bear shakes off water from its body at the St-Felicien Wildlife Zoo on October 31.