Introducing Canada’s mysterious Spirit Bear

Deep in the wet green forests of Canda's British Columbia (BC) live a few incredibly special animals. There are a only a small number, perhaps 100, in total in the wild.

These creatures are called Kermode Bears, or Spirit Bears. The incredibly rare animal is biologically a black bear – but with white or cream coloured fur.

According to North American Bear Centre, their unique colouring is due to a double recessive gene that's completely unique to the subspecies. 

Learn more about this natural wonder of our planet.

Canada's Kermode Spirit Bears

Spirit Bears are only found in Canada's Great Bear Rainforest region, which is located around coastal BC. The Princess Royal and Gribbell Islands are home to the largest population of these amazing Kermodes. 

Some people mistakenly identify these bears as albinos, but this isn't the case. A Spirit Bear can only be born to two black bears who both possess a rare recessive gene. You can identify one of these striking creatures from their snow-white fur paired with dark nose, eyes and paws. 

The animals can live for up to 25 years and feast on plants, berries and of course, plenty of salmon. In the winter, Spirit Bears hunker down amongst tree roots or in hidden dens to escape the cold and rest, and can even give birth to their wee cubs as they sleep. Then, when the mother bear awakens in spring, she takes her cub out for their wander through the forest. 

Because Spirit Bears are incredibly unique and can only be found in this one part of the world, it's important we work to safeguard their environment. According to the WWF Canada, environmental degradation, logging and hunting can put the ocean, rivers and forest habitats of these bears in danger. These areas must be kept healthy for the Spirit Bears to flourish and find food and shelter. 

That's why it's important for us all to look after our environment and use eco friendly products as often as possible, to protect the beautiful and unique species of our world.