Canadian Bear a Grizzly-polar Cross Breed

ULUKHAKTOK, Northwest Territories, May 2 (UPI) — Genetic testing shows an unusual bear, shot in Canada’s High Arctic region recently, was a cross between a grizzly and a polar bear, experts say.

The bruin had white fur like a polar bear, but a big head, long claws and a ring of brown fur around its hind, normally found in the grizzly, Canwest news service reported Saturday. The bear had been shot by an Inuit hunter April 8 on the sea ice west of Ulukhaktok on Victoria Island.

The Northwest Territories Environment and Natural Resources said in a release the animal may be the first recorded second-generation “pizzly” or “grolar bear” found in the wild.

“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,” the department said.

Hunter David Kuptana shot the bear on April 8 while it roamed.

“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,” the environment department said.

Canwest said the only other confirmed hybrid in the wild was one shot by a U.S. hunter in 2006, though there have been several suspected sightings.

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