A rare white grizzly cub has appeared in the Rockies and people are loving it
Nakoda has arrived in the Canadian Rockies. And it is already a huge star.
A video of the bear was posted to Instagram by the Bow Valley Network last week, which included a request for name suggestions from the public. Nakoda was declared the winner.
"Nakoda is a name originally from the Indigenous people of Banff," a follow-up Instagram post stated. "The name means 'Friend' or 'Ally' in the native language of the three aboriginal tribes of the area - Bearspaw, Chiniki, and Wesley."
Since news of Nakoda first broke, the bear has been featured in news reports around the world including the Daily Mail in the United Kingdon and Newsweek in the United States amongst many others.
Parks Canada told Global News that the cub, now three years old, was first spotted in 2018, but an Instagram post at the end of April from Rim Rock Resort was the beginning of the current social media sensation.
Seth Cherry, a wildlife ecologist with Parks Canada, told Global News that a white grizzly like Nakoda is very rare if not completely unheard of.
“It’s certainly the only one I’m aware of that’s been seen in our Rocky Mountain National Park, but throughout grizzly bear range, grizzlies are known to vary in colour from very dark to almost black. Your more typical colours are brown or blonde, but occasionally, you do see really light bears like this that look almost white,” he told Global.
British Columbia is also famous for another white bear, dubbed the spirit bear, which lives in the Great Bear Rainforest, a temperate rainforest along the Pacific coast.