The page cannot be found

Possible causes:

  • Baptist explanation: There must be sin in your life. Everyone else opened it fine.
  • Presbyterian explanation: It's not God's will for you to open this link.
  • Word of Faith explanation: You lack the faith to open this link. Your negative words have prevented you from realizing this link's fulfillment.
  • Charismatic explanation: Thou art loosed! Be commanded to OPEN!
  • Unitarian explanation: All links are equal, so if this link doesn't work for you, feel free to experiment with other links that might bring you joy and fulfillment.
  • Buddhist explanation: .........................
  • Episcopalian explanation: Are you saying you have something against homosexuals?
  • Christian Science explanation: There really is no link.
  • Atheist explanation: The only reason you think this link exists is because you needed to invent it.
  • Church counselor's explanation: And what did you feel when the link would not open?

The Kermode Bear: Spirit Bear of British Columbia

Saturday 11 March 2017

This is not a polar bear which has decided to migrate to warmer climes.

This is a remarkable sub-species of the North American Black Bear. It is the Kermode Bearr - also known as the spirit bear.

Living along the shorelines and central interior of British Columbia on the west coast of Canada, around ten percent of Kermode bears have white or creamy coats. They are revered among the native peoples of the province.

Pronounced kerr-MOH-dee, the lighter Kermode bears are not albinos. They appear much brighter than most of the population because of recessive alleles.

This rare genetic trait doesn’t hold them back either – the paler bears are better fishers than their brown counterparts. It is thought this is because the fish cannot perceive the threat from above due to their coloring. A brown bear might stand out more against the clouds – that much is true.

Living up to 25 years in the wild, the Kermode is known to the Canadian First Nations as the spirit bear and, as you might imagine, is a treasured animals and is significant in the folk stories passed in spoken form down the generations. They are normally associated with great hunting prowess and helping people out when they are faced with starvation. Yet their scientific name - Ursus americanus kermodei – refers to their primary researcher of European descent, Francis Kermode.

Kermode helped bring the sub-species to wider attention in the early years of the twentieth century even though they were first presented to the world’s scientific community by William T. Hornaday in 1900 but who generously named the bear in honor of Kermode who had managed to secure three specimens for study. The Gitksan and N'ishga tribes called the bear Moksgm'ol, which, while the original name, to Anglophone ears is much unwieldier than the rhythmically pronounced Kermode.

Although pronounced a separate species the bear was downgraded to a subspecies by 1928. This taxonomic recognition by Raymond Hall defined the spirit bear as a distinct subspecies inhabiting a geographic area in Northwestern British Columbia. It covered all color morphs on the foundation of cranial and dental physiognomies alone and the bear is defined as such to this day.

Like most black bears, the spirit bear is only half a pound when it is born but the males can reach 300 pounds when adult and stand six feet. They are omnivores and will eat pretty much anything they can stomach. In terms of plant life they devour berries, fruit, nuts and roots but will happily eat insects and carrion. Deer and moose fawns can often become a meal for the spirit bear and, like its American counterpart, the Kermode will take to fishing during the salmon season.

The bears live a mostly solitary existence except for females and their cubs. A single male will overlap his range with those of three or four females. The females reach breeding age at around four and will birth in their winter den in January or February. The cubs will stay with her for around eighteen months – they are on their own when she is ready to mate again.

They can go up to seven months without food during their hibernation period. Photographer Jethro Taylor took this shot. "This Kermodei bear is hibernating a few hundred metres from our neighbours' house under an old tree stump. He's awake enough to track you with his eyes, but he doesn't even move around at all, he's so sleepy. We were very quiet and went in one at a time to take photos."

Although this photos does not have terribly high resolution, it is incredible to see a white Kermode bear in a setting near humans. They are rarely seen in the wild even.

Image The bear has it densest population on the large Princess Royal Island yet they number in the hundreds rather than thousands. Yet its habitat is under potential threat from a planned pipeline, the proposed route for which would pass near their forests. This has been opposed by various Native groups. Perhaps the intention of the British Columbian government to designate the spirit bear the province’s official animal might help to keep the habitat of this beautiful but endangered subspecies intact.

First Image Credit Flickr User Valard

Give a Gift

If you enjoyed this article, please consider making a gift to help Ark In Space to continue to bring you fascinating features, photographs and videos.
Thank you!

Allow the use of cookies in this browser?

Kuriositas uses cookies from Google to deliver its services and to analyse traffic. Learn more about cookies and how they are used.
Allow cookies Cookies settings