The Spirit Bear is the “official animal” of British Columbia. Spirit Bears are an endangered and protected sub-species. They are a wonder of Mother Nature. Unlike most bears (Grizzly Bears, Brown Bears, Polar Bears etc) Spirit Bears are not a species in themselves. They are a rare subspecies of the American Black Bear that are only found on Canada’s West Coast. Approximately 10% of Black Bears born in this area carry a genetic trait that gives them White Fur.
Protecting the species is very difficult. You can’t simply breed a male and female Spirit Bear and see Spirit Bear cubs. There’s a 90% chance their cubs will be regular American Black Bears! Only 400 Spirit Bears remain in the world and we at Urban Distilleries want to help protect the Spirit Bear. Partial proceeds from the sale of every bottle of our spirits go to fund the “Save a Spirit Bear initiative”.
Scientists believe that the presence of a single recessive gene in these creatures is responsible for the white coat that as many as one in ten of these bears is born with and retain throughout their lives. It lives in the greatest numbers on the islands, off the north-central coast of British Columbia. White coat Spirit Bears are found most frequently on Princess Royal Island, situated between the coastal mainland and the Queen Charlotte Islands. Scientists believe there is such a high concentration of the Spirit Bears on this island because they are geographically isolated from other black bear populations.
The Save a Spirit Bear initiative currently supports the Great Bear Education & Research Project which works towards the protection of endangered wildlife and their ecosystems through research and education on the Pacific Coast. www.projectgbear.org