The elusive spirit bear of B.C. may be facing a threat: the grizzly bear
The large, white bear trundles through the underbrush of the Great Bear Rainforest, sniffing the ground beneath its feet. Unbeknownst to the giant beast, he is being watched by a set of mechanical eyes – a remote camera – intent on discovering whether or not this bear is in danger of losing its feeding ground.
This isn’t a polar bear, nor is it an albino bear. It is a bear of many names – spirit bear, ghost bear, Kermode bear, or moskgm’ol. Scientists estimate that one in ten black bears is white, a result of two parents carrying a particular gene.
The verdant forests of the Great Bear Rainforest — which spans roughly 65,000 square kilometres — is often called the Galapagos of Canada. There are hundreds of islands, lush forests, and diverse wildlife.
It is here, mainly on Princess Royal Island, where the spirit bear makes its home.
The rare white bear has been treasured by many coastal First Nations communities for hundreds of years. They didn’t often speak of it, but it is being talked about now.
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