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Climate Change Creating Hybrids

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The reason behind the grolar bear and the pizzly bear…

Scientists say the reason two bear species have crossed paths and are breeding is due to climate change. As the Arctic warms up, there is less ice and polar and grizzly bears are mating to create a hybrid of new bear species.

In the past, the grolar bear, or the pizzly bear were rarely spotted. Naturally, grizzly bears are terrestrial animals who live predominantly on land and polar bears are marine mammals who rely on water for their existence. As climate change lurks upon us, it is becoming more and more common to see a hybrid of the two species.

If a male polar bear mates with a female grizzly bear, it is known as a pizzly and if a male grizzly bear mates with a female polar bear, it’s known as a grolar bear.

Grolar bears are generally more common as male grizzly bears are usually the ones to roam around on a mission to establish their territory. As they come into contact with female polar bears along the way, they mate them, creating a hybrid of offspring.

The hybrid's fur is generally darker than that of a polar bear, often with dark paws and dark rings around their eyes. Their claws are usually a lot longer, more close to a grizzly bear.

On the downside for polar bears, climate change means they are forced to spend more time on land. This results in the polar bear population declining. They are also more subject to weight loss due to not being able to hunt for prey. In turn, the starvation affects their reproductive abilities dramatically and we could see a wipe out of the already endangered species in the future.

For grizzly bears however, it means warmer climate with more potential to hunt for food.

As both species of bears tend to stay away from humans, it might be a while before we discover more about the species.

Photograph Alaska Zoo