Rare grizzly-polar bear hybrid shot dead in Canada (PHOTOS)
Shaped like a grizzly, but with the distinctive white coat of a polar bear, the beautiful creature is one of just three reported in northern Canada in as many years.
Twenty-five-year-old Didji Ishalook spotted the bear while out hunting in Arviat, 260 kilometers north of Churchill.
After shooting the creature, Ishalook noticed that despite its white fur, the bear had large claws and a broad head similar to those of a grizzly.
“I am going to send it out to taxidermist and make it into a rug or a wall-mount,” he told CBC.
Dave Garshelis, a research scientist from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, confirmed with the CBC that it was a “grolar bear,” which was born due to climate change forcing the brown grizzlies further north into the white bear’s territory.
He said that hybrids are likely to become more common as the global environmental crisis worsens.
“An albino bear would have a light-colored or pink-colored nose, and no pigmentation in the eyes and the claws. This bear has a black nose and normal dark-colored eyes and claws. So, it’s not an albino,” according to Garshelis, who explained that 'grolar' is the official name if the male parent is a grizzly and 'pizzly' if papa is a polar bear.
Roughly 600 polar bears are killed legally in northern Canada each year.
Known as “Nanuq” in their language, the hearty bear is traditionally the most prized catch for Inuits, who use every part of the animal except the liver, which even dogs won’t eat due to toxic levels of Vitamin A.
The Committee on International Trade in Endangered Species dropped efforts to impose an international ban on trading in polar bear products earlier this month, noting that climate change is a greater threat to the species than Inuit hunting.
“We are putting our resources into working in collaboration with other polar bear range states to address climate change and mitigate its impacts on the polar bear as the overwhelming threat to the long-term future of the species,” they said in a statement.
Iniut hunters captured shooting a “regular” polar bear were trolled online for being sloppy after this video was uploaded to YouTube, which shows that it took them several shots to finally take the bear down.