18/04/2024

A Cream-Colored Bear Cub Spotted Playing With Its Black Bear Mother

A Cream-Colored Bear Cub Spotted Playing With Its Black Bear Mother

A remarkable 5-month-old black bear cub with cream-colored fur has been spotted in British Columbia with its commonly colored mother. The ʀᴀʀᴇ sight was seen and photographed by Arthur De Jong, who is an environmental planning manager.The cub was spotted playing with its mother on the Whistler-Blackcomb mountain and has scientists scratching their heads.

Experts are trying to determine if the cub — about five months old —  is ᴀʟʙɪɴᴏ or a Kermode bear, which live on British Columbia’s north and central coast.He says that so far, experts are leaning toward it being ᴀʟʙɪɴᴏ because unlike a Kermode, it does not have a black nose or ᴘɪɢᴍᴇɴᴛᴀᴛɪᴏɴ. They believe it is either an ᴀʟʙɪɴᴏ bear or a sᴘɪʀɪᴛ bear. Both of these outcomes relate to a ɢᴇɴᴇᴛɪᴄ ᴍᴜᴛᴀᴛɪᴏɴ affecting their ᴘɪɢᴍᴇɴᴛᴀᴛɪᴏɴ. But until someone sees if its eyes are pink like an albino’s, or not, we cannot tell for sure.‘It’s not white, it’s got a caramel, light, sort of brownish sheen to its fur,’ De Jong told CBC. ᴀʟʙɪɴᴏ or ‘sᴘɪʀɪᴛ’ bear? “It’s not white, its got a caramel, light, sort of brownish sheen to its fur,” De Jong said, adding biologists want to see photos of the cub’s eyes because a “pink-blue colour” would mean it’s albino. “I’ve repeatedly heard from various bear experts that its (fur) colour is the result of recessive genes from both parents. The mom is very much a black bear.” May be short-lived: De Jong remains ɴᴇʀᴠᴏᴜs that the “little guy” may not sᴜʀᴠɪᴠᴇ for long and could become habituated to people and garbage. “It may not be with us in the next few weeks. Cubs have about a 50 per cent chance of sᴜʀᴠɪᴠᴀʟ in year one. It’s a ʀᴏᴜɢʜ life,” he said.

‘I’ve repeatedly heard from various bear experts that its (fur) colour is the result of recessive genes from both parents. The mom is very much a black bear,’ he added.According to Michael Allen, who is an expert in whistler bears, this is the first time he has seen a white bear cub in this area in 23 years.“I have seen cubs ranging [from] black, reddish-brown, chocolate-brown to blonde (after summer bleaching of coat) but never have [I] seen in this population a cub with pelage this light to almost white”.

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