Friday, May 12, 2006

polar bear extinction

A month or so ago, the cover of Time showed a polar bear all alone on a tiny floe of ice. By 2030 or 2050 these pretty white bears will be extinct. They are drowning trying to swim from ice floe to ice floe as the ice caps melt.
I know they are nasty, mean and rotten, the worst of the bears. But they are also wonderfully adapted to their environment, and I'm sad when I hear of anything dying out.
I was half-asleep the other night during the Colbert report and I heard him doing one of his diatribes against bears and he mentioned a hybrid grizzly-polar bear. I thought he was making it up but here it is:
Grizzly-polar bear hybrid found
A DNA test has confirmed what zoologists, big-game hunters and aboriginal trackers in the far northern reaches of Canada have imagined for years: the first documented case of a hybrid grizzly-polar bear in the wild.
Roger Kuptana, an Inuit tracker from the Northwest Territories, suspected the American hunter he was guiding had shot a hybrid bear last month after noticing its white fur had brown patches and it had the long claws and slightly humped back of a grizzly.
Territorial officials seized the creature's body and a DNA test...confirmed that the hybrid was born of a polar mother and grizzly father.

Maybe they won't die out after all. Although I'm not sure how a white bear can hide in the brown forest. And if assholes keep shooting them they'll never reproduce.

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