It seems like now we have enough proof that there are grizzly-polar bear hybrids in the wild. Hunter Didji Ishalook shot a bear on a hill near his home in the Canadian Arctic. When he got close to the bear, he observed that it had a weird appearance.
According to him, the dead animal looked like a polar bear but with big claws, brown paws and a head shaped like a grizzly. Hybrid bears are called ‘growler bears’ if the father is a grizzly and ‘pizzlies’ if the father is a polar bear. However, the hybrid bear is still a mystery for every scientist, because there is too little information about it.
Some believe that the ice around the North Pole is getting smaller. Therefore, the hunting area of the polar bears and grizzlies is more likely to be shared. However, it was not established yet if this is the reason why grizzly bears and polar bears started mating.
There might also be the possibility that grizzlies and polar bears run into each other at the border of their habitats, thus leaving room for interpretation regarding possible conflicts and breeding.
According to Chris Servheen, a bear biologist at the University of Montana, grizzly-polar bears have rarely been seen by people, and there has been very little human-bear contact until now. Because of these rare sightings, it ‘s hard for scientists to jump into conclusions.
Both grizzlies and polar bears have a solitary nature, making them hard to be found and studied. Therefore, it was difficult to establish what is the current number of grizzly-polar bears. Plus, bears avoid humans and very little is known about their temperament.
The first recorded ‘grolar bear’ was shot in 2006 by Jim Martell from Idaho, in Canada’s Northwest Territories. In 2010, a few years later, a public warning was released regarding the fact that if grizzlies and polar bears have started to mate, it means that they are both endangered. Therefore, we must take action to study, protect and preserve these species as soon as possible.
According to scientists, this hybridization of grizzly-polar bear is not a good sign, and most likely won’t result in a bear genetically superior to the other species. In other words, we need to bring our contribution in the process of protecting our ecosystem and increasing the grizzly and polar bear population.