Saturday, July 3, 2010

Grizzly?


Calling all bear enthusiasts, is this a grizzly or a black bear?

Adam and I ventured up to Callaghan Valley to check out the spring flowers and stunning viewpoints at the Olympic XC ski venue. We came across these three bears in different locations near the top. The two below are clearly the common brown bear, but the one above was somewhat of a mystery to us. It's fur was a light brown colour, but it was shedding in patches, showing black coloured skin. It also had a slight "hump" on its back, usually a grizzly bear characteristic. It was also the only bear of the three that had been tagged. We weren't thinking it was a Grizzly at the time as we have never heard of them in the Whistler area, but after looking online, it turns out there are four resident grizzlies in the Callaghan Valley. Could we have been lucky enough to spot one?




A few more pics from our Squamish getaway:









That's right, in the "FAST" lane! Sadly this had nothing to do with my speed... it was the only empty lane which meant a minimal chance of someone breaststroke kicking me to the collarbone (my biggest fear!). Kicking with my arms at my side is anything but fast :-(

8 comments:

krystyna47 said...

I'm quite certain that first bear is still a black bear, not a grizzly. Black bears can have quite pale coats in the summer time, making them seem quite grizzly-like. Additionally, the face shape is more slender and black bear-like.
(Wildlife biologist-in-training, but I'm still not 100% sure)

Kamal Rae said...

I'm on the brown bear thinking too. seen both face to face and that doesn't look like a grizzly.

Wendy said...

Randy suggests it's a juvenile grizzly. sure doesn't look like a black bear to me. Altitude, Callahan Valley -- both suggest grizzly

Lauren said...

I did some more research and I'm now thinking it might be a "cinnamon" black bear.
I found this website: http://www.mountainnature.com/wildlife/bears/bearid.htm
Sounds like black bears can come in quite a range of colours. And the info on their profiles was interesting. Black bears have a "Roman" profile, with a straight line from the nose to the forehead. As you can see from the photos, this guy's profile looks very similar to the other black bears.
As for the claw size, we didn't get close enough to measure...

Kyla said...

yup definitely a black bear- grizzly's have round ears and a hump. Beautiful pictures Lauren!

Matt said...

It's actually a cat

rrooster said...

Hi Lauren, I hope your recovery is going well... sounds like you're taking it smart. Oh the bear... it's definitely a black bear. As Kyla said... grizzles have round ears, as well their faces tend to have a lighter colour, and their eyes have that beady-closer together look. Depending on their age, they may not have developed the hump prominently yet. Of coarse the biggest confirmation is... THE MOTHER... you would have noticed her!

Sunshine Girl said...

Black bear. Biggest difference is always the shape of the face and the hump! He sure is a funny lookin' dude though.