Aulavik, meaning “place where people travel ” in Inuvialuktun, encompasses a variety...
Cryptozoology has a place in the Canadian Wild.
You know all those mystical creatures like the Sasquatch, Big Foot, and the Abominable Snowman? Did you know there’s actually a zoological term for these creatures? They’re called cryptids. They’re studied in cryptozoology, which is sort of like zoology, only it focuses on beings whose existence hasn’t yet been scientifically proven yet. Sometimes, though, a cryptid turns out to be real.
Probably the most famous example of this case happens to be a Canadian one. In 1864, Inuit hunters in Northern Canada shot and killed a yellow-furred bear. It wasn’t a polar bear, and it wasn’t a grizzly. This bear was oddly large and oddly coloured. The skull and skin were shipped to the world famous Smithsonian in Washington, DC. It wasn’t until the 1900s that the remains were examined once more. Now, the most common explanation for this unique species of bear is that it is a grizzly-polar bear hybrid. Why is this so crazy? Polar bears prefer to breed on ice, and spend a lot of time in arctic waters. Grizzlies spend most of their time on land, and breed on land. These two species of bear tend to avoid one another in the wilderness. So the idea that they’d be out there breeding naturally seems nearly unbelievable.
Since 1864, the grizzly-polar bear hybrid has been scientifically confirmed, repeatedly. Back in the day, DNA testing wasn’t the greatest. But now, with the advancement in technology, this breed has been scientifically accepted, established, and defined. Natural occurrences of this species have been found on Victoria Island and in Aulavik National Park (Northwest Territories). Researchers have determined that seven grizzlies have migrated to Wapusk National Park (Manitoba) which could cause more cross-breeding with the polar bear population. Unfortunately, nobody’s proven the existence of unicorns, but for now, we can settle for polar bear hybrids.