Artwork > Northern Passage


Pizzly Bear
Pizzly Bear
Mixed media
2017

The Pizzly Bear or “Grolar” is a recently documented hybrid of two distinct bear subspecies; the Grizzly Bear or the proper “North American Brown Bear” (Ursus Arctos) which roams the North American continent and the Polar “White” Bear (Ursus Maritimus) which roams the shifting line between ice and land. As the Arctic warms and sea ice melts, Polar Bears are forced to spend more time hunting on land, pushing further into the Grizzly’s domain. For the Grizzly bear, warming climate and the melting of permafrost allows the Grizzly to reach more abundant, thawing soil. As both the Polar Bear and the Grizzly are genetically quite similar, there is strong mutual attraction. Their mating seasons overlap and they produce fertile offspring, improving their survival rate. In 2006 DNA from a bear shot in the Canadian Arctic was confirmed as a hybrid of the two species. This was the first confirmed record of the Pizzly.