Meet the 'Grolar Bear'
The melting of the Arctic ice pack due to global warming, scientists say, may cause a hybrid of the polar bear and grizzly bear to become fairly common as their habitats increasingly overlap. Arctic biologist George Divoky has dubbed the brownish-white bruin the "grolar bear.' "Grizzlies are moving north while at the same time the polar bears are forced to be on the beach, Divoky said, "and we've found a number of grizzly-polar bear hybrids." DNA tests on one animal shot in the Northwest Territories confirmed that it was fathered by a male grizzly and a female polar bear. If there is a plus side, according to Divoky, genes of the endangered polar bear would be preserved in the grizzly population. Divoky is a research associate with the Institute of Arctic Biology at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks.