A hunter has killed a second generation polar-grizzly bear hybrid, the first second generation hybrid ever recorded in the wild, scientists in Canada are reporting.
An Inuvialuit hunter shot the animal on April 8 on sea ice near the Northwest Territories community of Ulukhaktok, according to a press release from the Northwest Territories Department of the Environment and Natural Resources.
The hunter, identified as David Kuptana, thought his kill looked unusual and submitted samples to the government for DNA testing, the news release said. Results of that testing released last week show the bear was the offspring of a polar-grizzly female and a male grizzly.
A male polar-grizzly was shot in the area in April 2006, the release said.
Global warming and the reduction of Arctic sea ice is likely to make such hybrid finds more common, scientists say.
"We're taking this continent-sized barrier to animal movement, and in a few generations, it's going to disappear, at least in summer months," Brendan Kelly, a marine biologist at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, told CNN affiliate CBC news.
The hunter, meanwhile, is looking to cash in on the animalâ€™s pelt while itâ€™s still rare and has received bids from across Canada, the CBC reported.
"Right now, we're already at $15,000, and we're going to see how far we can go," Kuptana told the CBC. "If we can do better, we'll be happy."