An Incredibly Rare White Grizzly Bear Was Spotted in Banff, Canada
Photo credit: Bow Valley Facebook
From the popular mechanics
A white grizzly bear was discovered in Banff, Canada.
This species of bear is extremely rare, according to wildlife experts.
Banff locals called the bear Nakoda.
On April 29, the Rim Rock Resort in Banff, Canada, posted a video with bears in its Instagram feed. Obviously, bears are widespread in Canada, so you wouldn't think of anything special in the mail. But one of the normally brown-haired grizzly bears looked different from the others: it was totally white.
According to the bear biologist Sarah Elmeligi, who spoke to the local outlet The Star, the white grizzly bear is a rare animal. A typical grizzly bear is a type of brown bear that is very large and has a fur that generally ranges from light brown to dark brown. They have extra long claws and a hump near their shoulders to provide extra strength for digging.
The rare white bear has been in Banff ever since. On May 18, Bow Valley Network shared a video of the white grizzly bear asking its Facebook followers to vote on a name for the bear. Ultimately, they ended up on "Nakoda the White Grizzly".
“Nakoda is a name that originally comes from the Banff indigenous people. The name means "friend" or "ally" in the native language of the region's three indigenous tribes - Bearspaw, Chiniki and Wesley, "wrote Bow Valley Network on Facebook.
Nakoda joined other famous bears in the area, such as The Boss, a 660-pound male grizzly bear, and Split Lip, a large grizzly bear that ate other grizzly bears in Banff National Park.
Officials say Nakoda “is a very special bear and, as always, if you see it in the wild, don't disturb it by getting too close. We all want Nakoda, the white grizzly, to eventually become Nakoda, the "big" white grizzly in Banff National Park, "warned the Facebook post.
Wildlife experts who spoke to The Guardian said they've known about the white grizzly in Banff since 2017, though the public has only recently learned about the animal after these few viral social media posts.
"It is an amazing thing to see such a unique [creature], but we hope that people can see that it highlights the conservation concerns for the entire species," said Parks Stuart conservationist Jon Stuart-Smith, told The Star. He also asked visitors not to stop their cars when they see the white grizzly bear and to keep their distance.
In addition to the extremely rare white grizzly, other bear species are also widespread in Banff National Park. Parks Canada records every bear sighting reported. If you skim the list, you can see that a bear is spotted almost every day. Officials recommend taking bear spray "anytime" if you want to hike one of the park's hiking trails.
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