Trio of white bear cubs in Elkford, BC
Friday, October 21 2011 @ 07:19 AM EDT
Contributed by: jkr
NOTE: Elkford, BC is located in the Rocky Mountains, in the southeastern interior of BC, far removed from the habitat of the elusive Kermode of the BC West Coast.
Photo By Kristy Anonson Courtesy, Sonora Resort, Handout
ELKFORD, B.C.: September 26, 2011 --Two of the three white bear cubs that have attracted attention since appearing in the community of Elkford, B.C..
Vacation homeowners in Elkford, B.C., have been asked to search for white bear fur that may have caught on their decks or trees, to help scientists discover the genetic secrets of three white bear cubs seen in the town this fall.
Residents are also being urged to clear their garbage and fruit trees to stop the rare bears becoming hooked on human food sources.
The three cubs from two different mothers have attracted a lot of attention since they began showing up across the community in late September.
One black mother has been seen with two white cubs and a black cub, while another black bear has one white cub, one cinnamon cub and one black cub.
"White bears in this area are quite rare and scientists don't really know exactly what causes their unusual colour," says Jutta Kolhi of Elk Valley Bear Aware.
"They don't know if they are related to the Spirit or Kermode bears on the B.C. coast, which are a white sub-species of the black bear that makes up 10 per cent of the bear population.
"We also want to compare these cubs' DNA to the hair samples that were taken from another white bear in Elkford in 2008, to see if they are related," she says.
"It is definitely unusual to have three cubs in this area, and that is why we want to get hair samples tested to find out their genetic history."