KAMLOOPS, B.C. – A rare, white kermode bear with a hankering for human contact will spend the rest of its life in a Kamloops, B.C., wildlife park.
The 18-month-old cub, which carries the rare genetic trait that turns its fur creamy white, was found orphaned in northern British Columbia.
The bear, dubbed Clover, was captured, rehabilitated and released by a northern B.C. group, but was trapped again just months later when it continued to hang around humans.
The general manager of B.C. Wildlife Park in Kamloops says conservation officers decided young male bear was not a good candidate for relocation, and it was sent to the wildlife park, becoming what’s believed to be the first kermode bear in captivity.
Glenn Grant says Clover has an expected lifespan of about 30 years and the park plans to build a new enclosure and interpretive centre to house its rare guest.
The kermode, also know as spirit bears, are B.C.’s provincial animal and are found mainly on the central and north coast, but experts predict there are no more than 1,000 of the animals in the wild. (CFJC)