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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Filed under: Canada • World
soundoff (124 Responses)
  1. Shelley

    The people of the NWT live off the land. They do not hunt for sport or greed. They use every part of the animals they kill and waste nothing. They kill bears to protect their villages and children. I am not a supporter of hunting so much as I am a supporter of a people who are self sufficient and ask for nothing. The point that seems to be neglected in these comments is there would be no such thing as a grizzly-polar bear hybrid if not for the greed of humans, who are responsible for the deterioration of the polar ice caps resulting from global warming.

    May 3, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Scott

    Global Warming is a myth. There are forces at work we cannot understand. As many times through out history there has been ice ages and hot spells. The Sahara desert was a lush tropical zone 15,000 years ago. People get up on their soapboxes to profess things that they have no idea about and cannot change. While I think we should be more respectful to the environment, climate change is not an issue. Wait, is it global warming or climate change? Even the scientest can't decide what they want to call this ruse.

    May 3, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  3. platha

    THIS IS NOT A SPECIES!!! This is a rare occurrence of two somewhat simialr mammals producing an offspring. There is almost no chance that this hybrid could even produce, let alone start a new species. The hybrid grizzly/polar bear looks pretty much just like a normal polar bear except for a few barely noticable characteristics. RC brings up a good point. If it weren't for hunters and fishers, the National/State parks etc., would have little to no money. This bear that was killed could be considered a bit of a freak of nature and the hunter should not be condemned at all for killing it.

    May 3, 2010 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  4. guy Blaise

    So, he's 100% a White man. After the native polar-grizzly! Who is next? Blacks? Asians? Shame shame shame.....

    Guy at guyblaise.ccom

    May 3, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jeremy

    well hay the bear is a cross bread which is not freak of nauture I mean think about it if two different species can mate and brith about a hybrid like this bear that was shot what other animal can mate and bring about another so called freak of nature and the hunter well hay he shouldent be bashed for shooting the bear how did he know

    May 3, 2010 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  6. ryan

    At what point can we start hunting humans to keep the numbers down?

    May 3, 2010 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  7. PorkFat888

    @Andrew, why don't you take about thirty seconds to read your post before you hit the submit button. "Muder" is wrong? The hunter should be "chagered" for shooting an "endagered" animal and you think it is stupid and "worng"? You want to know what's really wrong? Clearing rainforests in South America to make room for cornfields to produce ethanol. Most of you self-proclaimed "tree-huggers" are so near-sighted you don't even take the time to do any sort of research before you start supporting your short-lived fad movements like biofuel. All you see is what your use of a product does to impact the environment without knowing what goes on during the hundreds of steps that come before you actually use it. And what do you do when an invading species has no natural predators and threatens to take over an ecosystem? Just ignore the problem, allowing that species to crowd out any other native species, possibly forcing those species into extinction? You're part of the reason the reason people won't take conservationist groups seriously. IMO, an ignorant tree-hugger is worse than an ignorant bigot.

    May 3, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  8. K

    If all of us lived like this there would be a fracton of the world issues we have today and life would be much more "as it should"...

    ...of course most of us would be dead if we had to live that way...pitty that...

    May 3, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  9. KRIS


    May 3, 2010 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  10. shaps

    You first, Ryan. Good start!

    May 3, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Ernie

    Andrew if you think is so wrong and want people to respect your opinion, perhaps use a spell check BEFORE you post to not look like a 5 year old wrote your message.

    The article does not say how far the dude was when he fired, did he even know what he was shooting at? It looks like a bear most so that is why he took the shot. I would also be willing to say he is hoping to get more for the pelt as he is native to that area and probally will use that money to provide for his family, not to just decorate his home.

    Hunting is as old as the world itself every living breathing creature has the gene to hunt within them, some repress it better than others, but it is there. So those that choose to embrace it for food / survival / etc.. more power to you. for those that do it just to earn bragging rights with your buddies... sad sad sad.

    May 3, 2010 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Tyler

    This person should go to jail for a long time. Mindless hunters make me sick. They don't need to bother killing off any possible polar bears. We are a virus to this planet and it's morons like him that cause extinction. If he was nearing death by starvation I would understand but I would bet everything I own he wasn't.

    May 3, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  13. John

    Funny how the Canadian papers report that it was actually an american hunter that shot the animal for sport, while is inuit guide was from the area.

    Hmmmm....CNN twisting another story?

    May 3, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  14. JIMBOW

    ha! ebay wins again...wonder what category animal pelts will be put in

    May 3, 2010 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  15. gabe

    a very strange creature it is i've heard of attacks, but its endangered it's hard to say what to do with the species

    May 3, 2010 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
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