The Spirit Bear
a.k.a. the Kermode Bear
The Kermode bear (Ursus americanus kermodei), also known as a “spirit bear” (particularly to the Native tribes of Alaska), is a subspecies of the American Black Bear living in the central and north coast of British Columbia, Canada. It is noted for about 1/10 of their population having white or cream-coloured coats. This colour morph is due to a recessive allele common in the population. They are not albinos and not any more related to polar bears or the “blonde” brown bears of Alaska’s “ABC Islands" than other members of their species.
National Geographic estimates the spirit bear population at 400-1000 individuals, saying that “the spirit bear may owe its survival to the protective traditions of the First Nations, who never hunted the animals or spoke of them to fur trappers”
Not only is this Bear beutiful, it is also only found in one place in the world, a section of BC that is 1 1/2 times the size of Switzerland. I learned about it in a very good National Geographic article. By the way, if anyone wants to buy me a subscription to NG, my birthday is in less than 2 months.