Bear biologist Sarah Elmeligi said that white grizzly bears are a very rare species and are very difficult to spot in the wild.
With less than 55,000 grizzly bears left in the wild across North America, sighting one is definitely a dream come true for wildlife enthusiasts. One of these rare sightings was uploaded by Rim Rock Resort in Banff, Canada. Yes, we know that bears are a quite common sight in Canada, so you wouldn't think anything special about it. But this bear was different from the usual brown-haired grizzly bears. It was totally white.
According to a report by The Star, bear biologist Sarah Elmeligi said that white grizzly bears are a very rare species. White grizzlies are mostly unheard of, and we know polar bears are found in the Arctic, and the West Coast has Kermode, or spirit bears, but they are a variant of the black bear. A typical grizzly bear is a very large brown bear and their coat generally ranges from light tan to dark brown. Brown grizzlies usually have extra-long claws and a hump near their shoulders to provide extra strength for digging.
This gorgeous white grizzly bear has been spotted roaming around Banff, Canada. On May 18, Bow Valley Network shared a video of the white grizzly on Facebook where they asked its followers to help them out with a name for the bear. Finally, the bear was named 'Nakoda the white grizzly'. Bow Valley Network wrote on Facebook saying, "Nakoda is a name that originated from the Indigenous people of Banff. The name means ‘Friend’ or ‘Ally’ in the native language of the three aboriginal tribes of the area—Bearspaw, Chiniki, and Wesley."
Nakoda is the latest in line to join other famous bears in the area such as The Boss, who is a massive 660-pound male grizzly bear, and Split Lip, a large grizzly who is known for eating another grizzly bear in Banff National Park. The Facebook post also warned that Nakoda “is a very special bear and as always, if you see it in the wild, do not disturb it by getting too close. We all want Nakoda the White Grizzly to eventually become Nakoda the ‘Great’ White Grizzly of Banff National Park area."
Jon Stuart-Smith, a wildlife conservationist with Parks Canada said, "It’s an amazing thing to see such a unique [creature] but we hope people can realize that it highlights the conservation concerns with the species as a whole." Smith also requested visitors not to stop the car if they see the white grizzly bear and even if they do, they should keep a safe distance.
Saint-Felicien White Bearhttps://t.co/LExNFNKMnahttps://t.co/rVYIMJpsL0https://t.co/E20HjqXb2m#canada #saintfelicien #whitebear #advhttps://t.co/8YRl2FTV3Ihttps://t.co/TLFd0YaMIy pic.twitter.com/M1j8gnVHwS— MI TU (@MI_TU) November 6, 2019
Wildlife experts said that they’ve known about the white grizzly in Banff since 2017, but it was only recently the bear started going viral on social media. Apart from the extremely rare sighting of this ultra-white bear, other bear species are also a common sight at the Banff National Park. Officials recommend keeping bear spray on you all the time if people make any plans to go on a hike on the park's trail.