The name “Spirit Bear” may have come from the First Nations people, which would mean that this bear had special, spiritual meaning to them. First Nations legend says that the Spirit Bear was made pure white, by the creator, to remind people of the Ice Age, when the earth was covered in snow and ice, and the problems of that time.

Bears are living reminders that human encroachment on their habitat is fast causing the decline of bear populations the world over. Although they are widespread over most of the globe, there are only 8 bear species remaining. Roaming the wild places of Canada and the Rocky Mountains, you might come upon:

• Grizzly
• Black bear (which may be brown)
• Polar bear
• Spirit bear (a sub-species of the black bear, found on some of the islands off the west coast of Canada – there are only about 100 in existence)

Unlike many mammals, bears can see in color.

The most accurate way to determine the age of a bear is to count the rings in a cross section of its tooth root under a microscope.
Bears have two layers of fur. A short layer of fur keeps the bear warm. And a long layer keeps water away from the skin and short fur.
Bears are very smart and have been known to roll rocks into bear traps to set off the trap and eat the bait in safety.
Bears live as long as 30 years in the wild. One captive brown bear lived to the age of 47.
Bears are bowlegged. This gives them better grip and balance.