May 3rd, 2010
10:23 AM ET

Report: Hunter kills first hybrid polar-grizzly bear offspring

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 animal’s pelt while it’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."

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soundoff (124 Responses)
  1. SS2

    I am a vegetarian and a strong PETA supporter. I am not a hunter myself but I do think people who kill animals for food and not for sport should not be condemned. A member of my family is native american and shoots one deer a year and that is the only meat they eat.

    If you want to stand up for animals, look at the factory farming industry. This will shock you at the abuse and the terrible conditions that animals must endure just to end up on our plate. Bring back the small farmers where animals are free roaming and live a good life with proper veterinarian care and love from their owners.

    My own personal view is that no animal should be eaten if it has to be abused and tortured.

    My two cents.

    May 3, 2010 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  2. paul

    I don't think hunters should face criminal charges, as it may be quite difficult to distinguish these bears from a distance. But how about make it illegal to profit from the kills?

    May 3, 2010 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  3. carlos

    SS2 – you are one of the few PETA supportes I agree with.

    May 3, 2010 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  4. Scott

    Well why not sell the pelt. You've shot the bear and ate him. If you live in a place as inhospitible as they do, you live off the land, be it vegitation when available or animals, you do what you have to do to survive. It's not like he's got a 9 to 5 job and he was doing this for fun. He is surviving and if selling the pelt for 15k will help him do that you can bet he's going to do that. I would. Would you animal lovers rather see hunters keep the population down or watch the animals starve to death because they are over populated and can't find enough food? Which way do you think will kill the most animals. Also, you only kill what you plan to eat, well should anyways. When I hunt I always eat my kill and many times give friends and family some of the meat as well. Wild game is probably more healthy for us than beef, chicken, or pork. You don't have to worry about the hormones and things livestock recieve.

    May 3, 2010 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  5. Silke

    funny how people get enraged to protect animals when we fail to feed our kids... check your priorities!

    May 3, 2010 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  6. JC

    Don't you people dissing the hunter realize what "Hybrid" means? They can't reproduce, so there isn't going to be some new species. And I love the way 'global warming' is now the excuse-de-jour for everything outside of normal that happens.

    May 3, 2010 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
  7. Silke

    the more i read the more upset i get. i live up north in michigan. we need to hunt so we can make it through the year. the 'free food' line is very long and what we get is out dated and dented cans, taped up boxes ect. ... still standing in the line! If i would have shot that bear i would sell it to the highest bidder too because that way i could buy some fresh food and fix my leaky roof.

    May 3, 2010 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  8. robert

    Unfortunate – "unsual bear" so his action is to kill it to submit DNA sample to canada?
    Certainly a photograph would have been worth much more.

    May 3, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  9. carlos

    JC, this is a second generation bear parented by a HYBRED mother and GRIZZLY father
    this appears to mean this type of hybred is not born sterile. but you still can't blame the hunter for doing what he has to in order to surive.

    May 3, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Andrew

    I still don't think its right even though it is a "Hybrid". Muder is wrong for people and animals so we all just need to chill out and stop with the hunting it is WRONG people. i think this "hunter' should get chagered for shooting an endagered animal like most people would. And it is stupid how they put money on the polar bear thing because they will all be dead and no more of them. So i think this is just stupid and worng and the people should do something about it.

    May 3, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  11. RC

    Wow so many opinions, with such little rational thought.

    First off as JC wrote it is not a new species it is a hybrid! Those of you that don't understand this and the basis of conservation need to study up on your biology and wildlife courses.

    Secondly, if you want to preserve a species open up a hunting season on it. Wildlife that is properly managed through the means of hunting displays stable populations. Hunters are the number one environmentalists and conservationists in this country. All of these wonderful National Wildlife Refuges, National Forests, Game Areas, ect. are purchased with funds from Duck Stamps, Hunting Licenses, and tax revenue from the sale of firearms, ammunition and other sporting equipment. I don't see a use fee for most of these areas for the non-hunting public? This doesn't even include the non-profit conservation minded, pro-hunting organization's monies raised for habitat and wildlife management. These organizations include ducks unlimited, quail unlimited, pheasants forever, national wild turkey federation, whitetails forever, and the list goes on and on.

    Get a clue on what hunting actually supports and the money that is raised for wildlife. Speak to a wildlife biologist, farmer or conservation officer on the subject to obtain some enlightenment. Or do like I did and study environmental planning with supplemental courses in fisheries and wildlife. Personal passion ares good, but not when they cloud judgment. I am an environmentalist, but utmost I am a conservationist.

    May 3, 2010 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  12. JMF

    Hybrid species are NOT always sterile. Do some googling.

    May 3, 2010 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  13. volunteerr54

    What a lovely world this would have been without HUMANS destroying it! Can you imagine what the earth would look like without pollution and destruction of habitat caused by the HUMAN RACE?

    May 3, 2010 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  14. PaC

    Species come and species go. The Human creature is just another species that exploits its environment for its own purposes. This Human creature, while reproducing prodigiously – following that very basic instinct of survival of the species – has the unfortunate habit of destroying its habitat (and that of the unfortunate animals with which it shares) and so ruining the very resources needed to guarantee its survival. One day we will all be gone and the insects will rise up to rule the earth (what's left of it!) I hope they do a better job of it than we seem to be capable of.

    May 3, 2010 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  15. ERK

    OK, let's see if I have this right. If I have a gun in the N.W.T, I'm allowed to shoot anything I want without any kind of permit, even if it is some kinda extremely rare hybrid bear. Or if you have to have a species specific hunting license, you would think that you would want to be sure what you are shooting at, wouldn't you? Oh well, it's kinda cool that we could make this species extinct before it ever really exists!

    May 3, 2010 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
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