By Evonne Ermey
It’s widely agreed upon by scientists that the planet is in the grip of global warming, the effects of which have hit the Arctic region hard, warming it at twice the global average.
Melting ice caps and the fate of polar bears have been hot topics in the global warming conversation.
Something that maybe hasn’t been anticipated is the advancement of a rare, hybrid bear in the Arctic circle — the Prizzly or the Grolar, as they’re called.
As Grizzly bears move north in search of colder weather, and dwindling ice caps leave Polar bears land bound, the relationship between the distant cousins, when they meet, can become amorous. The result? Hybrid Prizzley or Grolar bears.
A recent, and unfortunate, interaction between one of these rapidly appearing hybrids and hunter Didji Ishalook was reported by The Guardian, earlier this month.
Hunting in Canada, Ishalook at first thought the bear was a small Polar bear, but experts now believe otherwise.
“It looks like a polar bear but it’s got brown paws and big claws like a grizzly,” hunter Didji Ishalook said. “And the shape of a grizzly head.”
It could take hundreds of years for a new bear breed to develop from the interbreeding of Grizzly and Polar bears, The Guardian reports.
“Some climate change deniers have speculated that interbreeding will be the salvation of polar bears and therefore we don’t have to do anything about global warming to save polar bears,” Dr. Steven C. Armstrup, chief scientist at Polar Bears International, said of the interbreeding, “That, of course, is nonsense.”
The emergence of a hybrid bear will be “irrelevant with regards to retain the magnificent and highly specialized life form we know as the polar bear,” said Armstrup.