Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Spirit Bears

The images above are Spirit bears or Kermode Bears. They aren't polar bears. They are generally found in the central coast of British Columbia. The Kermode or Spirit bear is actually a black bear. It is not an albino bear-I repeat, "It is not an albino bear."

Nobody can seem to agree on why these bears are called spirit bears. Some feel it may a have been a misinterpreted Native Canadian term. Others feel the name was derived from their white appearance and elusive nature.

The color variant is due to a unique recessive trait in their gene pool. They actually have black skin under their white fur. Here is the Wikipedia entry about these cuties.

Because of their limited numbers there are several groups that have formed that are dedicated to saving these bears. The Spirit Bear Youth Coalition (SBYC) is one of these groups.

"Bears keep me humble. They help me to keep the world in perspective and to understand where I fit on the spectrum of life. We need to preserve the wilderness and its monarchs for ourselves, and for the dreams of children. We should fight for these things as if our life depended upon it, because it does." - Wayne Lynch ("Bears: Monarchs of the Northern Wilderness", 1993)

No comments: