Monday 15 August 2011

The Spirit Bear

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The Kermode bear (Ursus americanus kermodei) is a subspecies of the American Black Bear living in the central and north coast of British Columbia, Canada. It is noted for about 1/10 of their population having white or cream-coloured coats. This colour morph is due to a recessive allele common in the population.

Because of their special color and rarity, the Kermode bear is referred to as the spirit bear or ghost bear by the Canadian First Nations and American Indians of the area. According to legend, the spirit bear is a reminder of times past, specifically the white color of ice and snow. The master of the universe created one white bear for every ten black bears as a reminder of the hardships during the ice age. During this period glaciers and cold blanketed the planet. The spirit bear also symbolizes peace and harmony.

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