Alaska Science Forum

April 4, 2013

Hybrid grizzly-polar bear a curiosity

Article #2162

American hunter Jim Martell, left, is seen with a hybrid bear he shot while on a hunting expedition on Banks Island, Northwest Territory, Canada, in April 2006. Genetic tests showed the bear had a polar bear for a mother and a grizzly bear for a father. Roger Kuptana, center, right, was the guide on the expedition. The other men are unidentified.

AP Photo/Canadian Wildlife Service.

When he heard the news of a grizzly-polar bear hybrid shot in Canada’s Arctic last month, Tom Seaton thought back to an unusual polar bear hide he’d once seen at Nelson Walker’s home in Kotzebue.

“He had two polar bear rugs in his house — one was a huge one, and the other was special; it had lots of brown in it,” Seaton