Ultra-rare white grizzly bear spotted near tourist resort in Banff National Park in ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’

Recently, a rare white grizzly bear has been spotted somewhere near the tourist resort of Banff National Park in Canada. The white ball of cuteness was spotted by the worker at the nearby Rimrock Resort Hotel, Cara Clarkson.

She was driving on the Trans-Canada Highway with her husband and two sons when she caught the sight of the grizzly bear that was accompanied by its sibling. Apparently, they were hungry, so they had come out to search for food. When asked about the bear, she described it as a ‘once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity’.

‘We were like ‘holy smokes! That is full on a white grizzly bear.’ Clarkson said in an interview with St. Albert Today.

In fact, white grizzly bears are extremely rare. When asked about it Parks Canada researcher Mike Gibeau said: “I have never in all my time working with grizzly bears – since the early 1980s – seen a white grizzly bear. I’ve seen a really, really blond grizzly, but never a white one.”

There were some people who believed that that bear was an albino. However, Gibeau said that if it was an albino, its skin and eye color would have changed. He mentions that the white coat of fur is most probably a recessive gene. That’s why it’s rarely seen in the wild.

Some initially speculated that the bear might have been an albino, but according to Gibeau that would also have changed the bear’s skin and eye color.

The pair of grizzlies were first identified by park officials in 2018. Back then, they were still cubs and their fur appeared to be slightly blonde.

At the time, the bears were spotted near train tracks around 40 miles north of Rimrock Resort. Park workers tried to move the bears deeper into the park so they wouldn’t be disturbed by the human population.

They now believe that their return has to be linked to the lack of food that they were facing deep in the wild.

“This is a unique bear, and I certainly have never seen one before, but we ask people can appreciate that it’s out there and do things to ensure its safety, like not stopping on the highway. We hope they move onto other locations and then eventually move up into higher elevations.” Parks Canada’s Jon Stuart-Smith said.

HT: Daily Mail

Written by Ketrin Ulbrich

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