Pizzly Bear Shot in Northwest Territories

All of Canada is agog at the news that Idaho hunter Jim Martell bagged the first known wild cross between a polar and grizzly bear. Their mating habits are completely different- the polar bear likes it on the ice and the grizzly prefers land. The polar bear likes a long term relationship and has to mate five times before becoming fertile while the grizzlies tend to party around. "It’s very interesting," said Ian Stirling, Canada’s leading polar bear biologist. Some in his office have begun floating the name "nanulak," combining the Inuit names for polar bear - nanuk - and grizzly - aklak. Behind all of the name-calling, the issue is serious- Grizzlies are moving north as the climate gets warmer. "As grizzly bears expand their range north, (inter-breeding) becomes another potential threat to polar bears," said [geneticist] Mr. Paetkau. "If there’s too much inter-breeding, the grizzly bear genes could eventually wash out the polar bear, and they could become basically grizzly bears with a little more northern habitat." ::National Post