I watched a Nat Geo show recently, “Mystery Bear of the Arctic”. The mysterious bear in question turned out to be, discovered through extensive DNA testing, to be a polar/brown bear hybrid, with a polar mother and a brown father, the only one of its kind yet found (they speculate that because both species often birth multiple cubs, there could be others still out there). I’m not entirely convinced by the “reasons” given for such a union – that grizzly would have had to travel an unheard of distance, into a range where they are not known to go. But given that both species either avoid interaction entirely if they do meet, or that such interactions usually involve a violent conflict, this is a curious and fascinating idea to consider. Then again, I’m a little over-informed and over-interested in bears.
Still, I can’t help but dwell on the reasons the bear was discovered in the first place. Ridiculously rich American man spends $25K to participate in escorted polar bear hunt by Native Inuit guide. The whole situation feels morally questionable and exploitative. That photo says it all.