EDMONTON — An animal shot last week by an Inuit hunter travelling on the sea ice in the Northwest Territories has sparked debate over whether another polar bear-grizzly hybrid — a so-called "pizzly" or "grolar" — has been discovered.
The creamy white animal, which was shot near the community of Ulukhaktok on Victoria Island, is almost picture-perfect in terms of colouring for a polar bear.
But its big head, long claws and ring of brown hair around its hind feet are more in keeping with the profile of a grizzly bear.
Scientists say it's possible the animal is a hybrid — a rare product of a polar bear and grizzly mating in the wild.
Although several suspected sightings have been made in recent years, only one hybrid — an animal shot by an U.S. hunter in 2006 — has ever been confirmed in the wild.