The pizzly bear is an animal that was first found in the wild in 2006, however, what exactly is a pizzly bear?
A Pizzly bear or Grolar Bear, is an offspring of a Polar and Grizzly bear. These bears have been found in the wild and some in captivity. The reason for the hybrid is do to not only climate change yet the destruction of their habitats.
When Was The First Pizzly Bear Discovered?
The history of the pizzly bear goes all the way back to 1936, due to an accident at a zoo. The zoo was the United States National Zoo in Washington DC. At the zoo, a male polar bear and a female grizzly bear got together and mated.
The male polar bear made its way into the female grizzly bear’s enclosure. They soon mated, with the result being that the female had three cubs. These three cubs grew to adulthood, later mating themselves.
This incident proved two things. The first was that polar bears and grizzly bears could mate. Secondly, it also proved that the offspring could mate, which many hybrid animals could not do. Many hybrid animals are born sterile and are unable to create any offspring.
The first Pizzly/Grolar Bear in the wild was discovered in 2006, and confirmed with DNA-Testing. The bear was found near Sachs Harbour, in the Northwest Territories on the Banks Island.
How Many Pizzly Bears Are There?
There have been eight pizzly or grolar bears either killed by hunters or live-captured. These eight species identified include four first-generation pizzly bears with a 50:50 split between a grizzly and polar bears. One female polar bear was the mother of all four first generation pizzly bears.
The second set of hybrids identified included four backcross individuals with a mix of 75:25 in favor of grizzly bears. It is believed that a single hybrid (F1) female is the mother of all four of these backcross individuals.
After the first pizzly identified in 2006, the next was a suspected polar bear killed in 2010. The father of this bear was a grizzly bear, and the mother was a polar bear. All of the offspring relate to a single female polar bear.
Due to the restricted areas where grizzly bears and polar bears overlap in the wild, the numbers are likely to be low. This is backed up by Robert Rockwell, an ecologist at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Rockwell says that he doesn’t think there is much pressure for grizzly bears and polar bears to interbreed, stating, “I think the numbers are such that a hybrid would be pretty rare.”
The Habitat of the Grizzly Bears are in the Northern parts of Canada and Alaska. Grizzly bears have been seen as far north as the banks Island and Victoria Island. Grizzlies have also been seen in the province of Nunavut for approximately 50 years or more. These habitats overlap the polar bears, and due to this Grizzlies have roamed into the Polars hunting grounds and feed on the Seals and fish, that polar bears have killed.
Outside of the breeding season usually Grizzlies and Polars are hostile towards each other. When breeding season does happen they are less hostile and more receptive towards one another.
The reason Grizzlies are traveling so far for resources is do to overhunting by people of their food source, and destruction of their habitat, on top of climate change making their prey migrate.
Polar bears are endangered due to the climate change making their habitat unlivable, with melting ice and rising waters mixing with unsalted melted ice, their prey has moved on. Some polars have been caught stuck out at sea on floating glaciers a few kilometers away from their home. Which in turn causes them to starve. Some Polar bears have gone as far as to rummage through towns garbage for food and wind up being killed by civilians.
As for the hybrids they too are endangered due to so few being around and produced by the Polar and Grizzlies. According to the Endangered Species Act, hybrid animals are afforded the same protection in the wild as original species.
Is Hybridization Good or Bad For A Species?
In the early 1990s, there were less than 25 Florida panthers in the wild. The USFWS imported eight female cougars from Texas, allowing them to mate with the panthers. Due to this, the population of Florida panthers in the wild has now risen to 160.
However, in the arctic areas, this interference can have some severe consequences. According to Nat Wildlife Preserves and EDA experts, in an environment that is already stretched to its limits. The ecological roles many of these bears play will more than likely have the hybrid animals in said area suffer from starvation, poaching, and otherwise killing each other off for territory.
Other News Sources have been reporting on the Pizzly Bears which can be read here:
There are very few options to help these animals, one option is to move the hybrids to a different location and keep trackers on them for study and survivability. Other options is to try and cull the climate change by reducing pollution and ozone repair. Yet this will take years, more than we probably have. As people we also need to remember Animal Lives are important, and must do everything we can do deter poachers/hunters from dwindling the animal population. One day I do hope we can provide sanctuary for all animal kind where people don’t have the ability to destroy.