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Grolar Bears or Pizzlies

Melting Arctic ice has brought polar bears and grizzly bears together, creating a hybrid offspring, known as Pizzlie Bears or Grolars, posing a risk to biodiversity. Polar Bears, very strong swimmers, have roamed the Arctic for 38 million years and, though born on land, spend most of their time on the sea ice, pretty much dominating the Arctic. It has long been known that grizzlies and polar bears can successfully reproduce with each other, but in the past it never occurred, as usually polar bears are out on the ice during their mating season, and grizzlies are just coming out of hibernation. However in recent years global warming is ending grizzlies’ hibernation a bit earlier than normal and as a result a grizzly father and a polar bear mother have created a polar-grizzly hybrid.

Scientists have proposed calling the bears nanulak, from the Inuktitut words for polar bear (Nanuk) and grizzly (Aklak). This new species is sort of a dirty polar bear colour; almost a honey colour. Its head is noticeably larger than normal, and there is a hump behind its shoulders, which is normally found only on brown bears. The paws appear as if the animal was wearing socks.

Scientists expect that climate change and environmental degradation will result in more hybrids in the future. Crossbreeding or not, with uncontrolled warming, polar bears will eventually disappear. Hybridization between grizzly bears and polar bears is not the answer to conserving the species nor will it provide a solution to the polar bear’s dilemma.

The hybrid bears may be a sign of bigger changes to come.

Pizzlie Bears or Grolars

Pizzlie Bears or Grolars

Pizzlie sightings

Pizzlie sightings

Polar bears

Polar Bears

 

 

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