The Spirt Bear

The Spirit Bear is known by several names: kermode bear named after Francis Kermodei; white bear or ghost bear often used by locals; moksgm’ol by local First Nations; Ursus americanus kermodei by scientists; spirit bear is the most recent name for the white bear.

This rare white bear is actually a black bear. Scientists believe that the white coats are due to a recessive gene. The Spirit Bear is not an albino.

The Great Bear Rainforest is a protected area for these rare, special bears.

The Spirit Bear only weighs about a half a pound at birth, but grows to 150 – 300 pounds when fully grown, with a height between 4 and 6 feet.

Being omnivores, they mostly live on fish and berries, but also eat deer, moose fawns, carrion, insects, plants, fruits, nuts, and mushrooms. They depend on salmon runs in the fall to fatten themselves up for the long winter hibernation. They can go without food for up to 7 months.

Females reach sexual maturity at three to four years of age. They mate during the late spring, early summer months, gestating about 220 days. Cubs are born in their mother’s winter den in January or February, and are weaned at about eight months, but may remain with their mother for up to a year-and-a-half, when she is ready to mate again.
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