Michigan outdoorsmen are buzzing over photos of a rare sighting of a white black bear, sometimes called a spirit bear, spotted on a trail camera.
“There’s been a white black bear on camera in the Yoop! Extremely rare, but ya never know what May coming walking into your bait!” a Michigan Upper Peninsula Facebook page announced while providing images of the bear eating out of what’s being identified as a bait site.
A white fur bear, according to natural resource officers, is the result of a “one-in-a-million chance” both of its parents bred and “contained a recessive gene for white fur.”
In other words, you’re looking at something that gets the outdoorsmen community fired up.
Resource officers say the white fur bears will sometimes go through a cinnamon color, which you can see on the bear’s head. “But those are more common in bear populations. White is its own thing,” DNR officer Cody Norton told Fox News.
Estimated to weigh around 100 pounds, the Michigan spirit bear is believed to be the first one ever spotted in Michigan recorded history. This is also just the fifth such sighting of a spirit bear outside of British Columbia.
“So, there are a few genes in this area,” he said, excitedly. “It’s a double-recessive gene. And if there are fewer of those genes here, it’s going to be rare that you get a double-recessive combination,” Lynn Rogers of the Wildlife Research Institute in Minnesota told MLive.com.
The spirit bear doesn’t fall on some sort of protected list of bears, so it’s entirely possible a hunter could harvest the animal.
The trail camera owner, who is said to be a hunting guide in the western U.P., says the bear is safe on his property.
“I was not going to let anybody shoot that bear.”
Now it just has to survive the wolves.