kermode bears

Kermode “Spirit” Bear by Paul Burwell

Kermode “Spirit” Bear walking along a log over a river in the Great Bear Rainforest in British Columbia, Canada. These bears are not albinos. Rather, they are a black bear that carries a resesive gene that causes about 1 in 10 bears to be born with white instead of black fur. They only live on the west coast of Canada and there are only about 500 of them in existence.

flickr

Spirit Bear, Gribbell Island, BC by Jon McCormack
Via Flickr:
British Columbia’s Gitga’at First Nation believe that the raven, creator of the rainforest, turned every 10th black bear white as a reminder of the last ice age. Geneticists understand that the white coat is the result of a double recessive gene in black bears. No one knows why the spirit bear (known locally as Moksgm’ol) only exists in a small part of Canada’s Great Bear Rain Forest. It’s just one of nature’s miracles. Estimates of how many spirit bears exist vary. Some scientists believe there may be as many as 400. Some believe there may be as few as 200. This makes them more rare than a giant panda – and harder to find. My journey to find a spirit bear involved two plane flights, a ferry ride, a float plane ride, two zodiac trips, multiple nights on a boat, and a long hike through a rain forest. I’d willingly travel twice as far to get another glimpse of these majestic animals. Photographing this bear was, by far, the most profound thing I’ve done with my camera.

flickr

Hunting for Salmon by Ross Konigsburg
Via Flickr:
This spirit bear was walking along the river looking for fish and caught 2 or 3 while I was there.

Kermode “Spirit” Bear by Paul Burwell

Kermode “Spirit” Bear walking along a log over a river in the Great Bear Rainforest in British Columbia, Canada. These bears are not albinos. Rather, they are a black bear that carries a resesive gene that causes about 1 in 10 bears to be born with white instead of black fur. They only live on the west coast of Canada and there are only about 500 of them in existence.

flickr

Spirit Bear Going for the Salmon by Ross Konigsburg
Via Flickr:
Spirit bear catching a salmon

        🌱ʕ ó ㉥ㄘʔ  💝  ʕ◣㉨ ◢ ʔ💢

“I can’t bear the thought of you.”

「おめぇはあくまみたい」

“Shut up before I beat the stuffing out of you”

「くまなく探した、くまもやし!」

“No, you shut up, you damn bearsprout!”

flickr

Baby Kermode black bear by Anette Holmberg
Via Flickr:
Mama bear left baby bear to itself close to us to baby sit while she went to work. Great Bear Rainforest, BC, Canada

Photograph by @paulnicklen for @natgeo // Two Spirit Bear (Kermode Bear) cubs wait patiently while their mother gorges on crab apples in the Great Bear Rainforest of British Columbia. In this part of the world, approximately one in ten black bears turns pure white from a rare recessive gene. These bears are not albino. In order for this mother to have two black cubs the father would have had black fur and the recessive trait. If he had been white, then the cubs would be guaranteed to be white. If two bears have black fur and the recessive trait then there is only a twenty-five percent chance that one of the cubs would be white. Don’t worry, my head hurts also. Follow me on @paulnicklen to see more from this beautiful corner of the world. With @cristinamittermeier // #bear #kermodebear #spiritbear #cute #baby #pretty #202020 #wildlife #gratitude #explore #nature #smile #love #beauty #adventure #travel @natgeocreative @thephotosociety #instagood #tbt #follow #followme #photooftheday #happy #tagforlikes #beautiful #like #picoftheday #summer #fun #friends by natgeo