Visitor:

 Animal Photos Index
59. White Cub

58. Bear & Cat
60. China Dog & Cat

Not just any mother bear and her cub, but a black bear with a white cub. I don't know how rare it is for a black bear to have a white cub but at least we can say we've seen it no matter how rare it is! I'm pretty sure the Indian community would go nuts over this. Kind of like a white buffalo. Since there seems to be no sign of a pink nose or eyes, I would say that it is not an albino.

Origins: An albino black bear is a rarity, but as the photographs displayed above attest, an infant bear of that uncommon variety is what people started spotting near the Chemawawin Cree Nation in Manitoba (about 250 miles northwest of Winnipeg) around May 2004. Visitors to the area began reporting to conservation officials that they had seen the snow-white cub roaming the First Nations community with its mother amidst a pack of black bears, sending tourists flocking to Oscar's Point at the northern tip of Lake Winnipegosis to catch a glimpse of the unusual little bruin.

Unfortunately, the cub's celebrity ultimately helped bring about a tragedy that befalls many bears. Visitors began feeding the mother and her cub, acclimatizing the bears to humans and their food, and on 11 July 2004 the mother was struck and killed by a vehicle as the pair of bruins was being fed by highway motorists. The female cub, unlikely to survive on its own, was subsequently taken to a new home at the Assiniboine Park Zoo in Winnipeg. Its light-colored fur had already begun to darken by then, indicating that the cub was not a true albino but rather, as sometimes happens with black bears, was born with a temporarily white coat that gradually darkens as the animal matures.

Submitted by Sander

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