Thu. Oct 6th, 2022

Beautiful black bear with white fur in Michigan is killed by wolves shortly after a sighting

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A rare black bear with white fur has met a tragic end after it was spotted in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

The one-in-a-million bear was killed by wolves shortly after photos of the bear were posted by Facebook group Yooper Outdoors #906 on Sept. 6, 2022.

The group, a Michigan-based guide service and outfitter, informed Fox News Digital this week that the white-colored black bear was found dead following the early-September sighting of the animal.

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“Our wolf population has devastated our big game populations in the U.P.,” Yooper Outdoors #906 wrote in a Facebook chat.

White black bear is spotted in Michigan's Upper Peninsula on Sept. 5, 2022.

White black bear is spotted in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula on Sept. 5, 2022.
(Facebook/Yooper Outdoors #906)

The bear was originally caught on a trail camera in Michigan’s western upper peninsula.

It had been rummaging through bait placed there by a hunter.

“There’s been a white black bear on camera in the Yoop!” the post reads. 

“Extremely rare, but [you] never know what [may be] walking into your bait!”

Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources told Fox 2 Detroit that they’re “fairly certain” the bear actually has a white coat.

“I thought it was just too cool,” said DNR large carnivore specialist Cody Norton.

“It’s just exciting seeing an animal pop up like this here instead of somewhere else.”

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“We’ve had some cinnamon color phases show up, some blonde and chocolate on some trail cameras we use for surveys, which is also really cool to see,” he said. 

“But those are more common in bear populations. White is its own thing.”

A rare black bear with white fur first spotted on Sept. 4, 2022 in Michigan.

A rare black bear with white fur first spotted on Sept. 4, 2022 in Michigan.
(Facebook/Yooper Outdoors #906)

The bear was about two years old and was most likely the rare product of two bears that both held a recessive gene for white fur, according to Norton and Fox 2 Detroit.

This happens almost exclusively in western Canada where Kermode bears — an American black bear subspecies — reside in the province, the same sources indicated.

A white-colored black bear spotted on a trail cam in Michigan's Upper Peninsula on Sept. 5, 2022.

A white-colored black bear spotted on a trail cam in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula on Sept. 5, 2022.
(Facebook/Yooper Outdoors #906)

Only up to 20% of the bear population has white fur.

These bears are sometimes referred to as “spirit bears.”

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Norton told Fox Detroit that it is very rare for this bear to have popped up in such a large and widely connected area, where 80% of Michigan’s population of 10,050 bears live.



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