From the Vancouver Sun
An odd-looking bear shot a few weeks ago by an Inuit hunter in the High Arctic is a rare grizzly-polar bear cross, scientists have confirmed. Moreover, the animal -- with the creamy white fur of a polar bear, but with the big head, long claws and ring of brown hair around its hind common to the grizzly -- may be the first recorded second-generation "grolar bear" found in the wild, said the N.W.T. Environment and Natural Resources Department in a news release. "A wildlife genetics laboratory has since conducted DNA testing on the samples, and the results of the testing point to the animal being a second generation hybrid bear which resulted from the mating of a polar/grizzly bear female with a male grizzly bear," said the release. Hunter David Kuptana shot the bear on April 8 while it roamed the sea ice just west of Ulukhaktok, on Victoria Island. "The animal appeared unusual to the hunter and he provided samples from the bear to Environment and Natural Resources officials for testing to determine the species," said the environment department. Polar bear-grizzly hybrids -- known as either "pizzly" or "grolar" bears -- are very rare. Although several suspected sightings have been made in that past few years, only one hybrid -- shot by a U.S. hunter in 2006 -- had been confirmed in the wild.