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First Ever Wild Grizzly/Polar Hybrid Shot 227

tavilach writes "Jim Martell has a license to hunt polar bears, but when his latest kill had "white fur [that] was spotted brown and it had the long claws and slightly humped back of a grizzly," officials seized the body in order to conduct DNA tests. These tests confirm that the dead bear had a polar bear mother and grizzly father, the first documented grizzly-polar hybrid in the wild. This was lucky for Jim, who was facing a fine and jail time for possibly killing a grizzly. Scientists who would have liked to study the bear are not so lucky."
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First Ever Wild Grizzly/Polar Hybrid Shot

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  • Good job... (Score:4, Funny)

    by facelessnumber (613859) * <drew @ p i t tman.ws> on Saturday May 13, 2006 @11:51PM (#15327894) Homepage
    Now we'll never know what kind of mystical skills and powers it had.
  • by pdes (136795) on Sunday May 14, 2006 @12:03AM (#15327952)
    But how does it taste?
  • So what we're talking here is a species that hunts humans, mated with a species that's known for being grumpy, vicious and well nigh indestructible.

    Thank god this guy killed it! Jail time heck, give the man a medal.
    • Grizzlies are just grumpy. If you don't bother them, they won't bother you. Polar bears LIKE hunting human. I agree it could make an interesting cross.
  • new name (Score:2, Funny)

    by mayns (524760)
    The burning question: was it a Pizzly Bear or a Grolar Bear?
  • So typical! (Score:4, Funny)

    by CODiNE (27417) on Sunday May 14, 2006 @12:21AM (#15328025) Homepage
    genetic tests showed the bear had a polar bear for a mother and a grizzly bear for a father.

    Those grizzlys... always going after the blondes.
  • by Entropius (188861) on Sunday May 14, 2006 @12:25AM (#15328042)
    So it's apparently legal to shoot polar bears in Canada, despite the fact that they're considered one of the animals facing increasing threats in the future from withdrawing sea ice?

    And it's also legal to shoot a half-grizzly, even though shooting grizzlies is illegal?

    What a waste of a magnificent (and apparently rare) animal. I'm probably one of the more pro-hunting folk around here; I grew up eating deer and gamebirds shot by my father, and have a bunch of respect for people who know how to turn a shotgun shell or rifle bullet into dinner. But these wealthy big-game trophy hunters, who look for rare and wondrous animals only to shoot them and turn them into rugs or wall ornaments, make me sick.

    Imagine if some guy wandering around the Antarctic finds a meteorite with evidence of Martian life in it, and whacks it with a sledgehammer...

    • by Hannah E. Davis (870669) on Sunday May 14, 2006 @12:45AM (#15328096) Journal
      As I understand it, polar bears are huntable in the arctic at least in part because they eat people. They're extremely dangerous animals -- apparently, they're known for showing no fear around humans and having no qualms about eating human flesh, so there are parts of Canada where you actually do have to go around armed in case one comes by looking for dinner.

      I'm still not a big fan of shooting them, but I can see why it might be allowed, especially near human settlements.
      • by Dachannien (617929) on Sunday May 14, 2006 @01:26AM (#15328205)
        But they're adorable and they like Coca-Cola. How could they possibly be vicious?

      • by mangu (126918)
        polar bears are huntable in the arctic at least in part because they eat people.

        Then why not make the areas where polar bears live off-limits to humans? We inhabit every single part of the Earth, why not leave some space for other animals? If an animal species is being driven to extintcion due to habitat encroachment by humans, then it's only reasonable that humans stay off that species' natural habitat.

        IMHO, a polar bear is justified in killing a human because it's in his nature, but a human is supposed t

        • by Firethorn (177587) on Sunday May 14, 2006 @07:07AM (#15328959) Homepage Journal
          Then why not make the areas where polar bears live off-limits to humans?

          Because then the bears breed and expand their population, which expands their territory and suddenly the bears are threatening our enclaves again.

          I believe that the limit is something around a hundred bears a year. That's why you get the rich 'big game hunters' as they're the only ones who can afford the resulting high fees.

          If an animal species is being driven to extintcion due to habitat encroachment by humans, then it's only reasonable that humans stay off that species' natural habitat.

          They're not endangered, though their population density is tiny. And their 'natural' habitat is anywhere there's food, minus areas where more warm climate adapted bears take the territory.

          IMHO, a polar bear is justified in killing a human because it's in his nature, but a human is supposed to be "rational", which means, logical reasoning should prevail over his instinct to kill.

          We haven't wiped out the Polar Bears entirely, nor that many other large species recently in the northern hemisphere. I'd tend to say we are controlling it, and death/predation is both part of nature and man.
        • How about I live where I want? I have a right to defend myself, just like any other animal would defend itself, and the fact that I can handle and use lethal weapons makes my defense easier. If I chose to live in an area inhabited by polar bears we are in competition and therefore I have a right to assure my survival. You should get in the real world.
    • So it's apparently legal to shoot polar bears in Canada, despite the fact that they're considered one of the animals facing increasing threats in the future from withdrawing sea ice?

      Polar Bears around that area are so numerous they're getting to be a big problem and they have to be culled. Mostly because Polars like to supplement their diet of seals, fish and walrus with fresh dump pickings. I've heard stories of smoldering polar bears wandering through the dump at Churchil Manitoba.

      And it's also l

    • by yankpop (931224) on Sunday May 14, 2006 @01:07AM (#15328149)

      Some details for your consideration:

      Inuit communities are allowed a certain number of polar bear tags each season, based in part on the idea of sustainable yield (how sustainable I can't say). This is in recognition of the importance of the polar bear hunt in their traditional culture.

      Each community decides how to allot their tags. Some places use all of the tags internally for subsistence hunting. Others sell a portion of them to big-game hunters, which brings a lot of money to the community. This is arguably a more efficient form of subsistence hunting: What's a better use of the resource, a) killing a bear and eating it or b)selling the chance to shoot a bear to a rich hunter and then spending the tens of thousands of dollars raised on feeding your community? Tags for outsiders are only available through the Inuit communities.

      And yes, it's true that polar bears are dangerous, and anyone working in the arctic needs to carry a rifle in case of emergency encounters. Government research projects are extremely touchy about this (my wife's been up a few times) - spotting a bear anywhere near a camp results in the camp being moved rather than risk the death of a bear or a human. However, the suggestion by another poster that the hunt is necessary to keep communities safe is bullshit. Which is not to say nuisance bears won't get killed, but it certainly won't be part of the hunting tag system.

      yp.

      • If the reason why Inuit communities are allowed to hunt polar bear is because this is deemed to be part of their traditional culture, why are they allowed to sell their "polar bear tags" to non-Inuits? Is trading their traditions for money also part of their traditional culture? Or is Inuit traditional culture just Canadian government's pretext to explain why polar bear hunting is allowed, the real reason being that it brings good money into Canadian economy?

        Just wondering.

        • I expect that the amount of money polar bear hunting brings to the Canadian economy is trivial. However, it is far from trivial for the native communities involved. And given all that the Canadian government has imposed on the Inuit, I think it's a good thing that they've allowed them to make their own decisions in at least this one aspect of managing their resources.

          If I recall correctly, Scotland (could've been another north Atlantic country, my undergrad is a long ways back now) adopted a similar polic

          • To restate my point, if you allow Inuit communities to trade their "polar bear tags" for money it means that polar bear hunting is nothing but an economic subsidy.

            Given that polar bears are now considered an endangered species [biologicaldiversity.org], that makes a big difference.

            I don't know Inuit traditions, but it is possible that the role of a polar bear is irreplaceable in some of them. If that is the case, I can understand the argument for allowing some hunting, even if I may not agree.

            However, if hunting is just intend

        • Is trading their traditions for money also part of their traditional culture?

          It's part of the more modern aboriginal culture everywhere in the world. There wouldn't be much attendance if they opened a casino, and there isn't much opportunity for smuggling.
      • "...anyone working in the arctic needs to carry a rifle in case of emergency encounters."

        Erm... estimated world population of barely 22,000 [spiegel.de] for polar bears. How many billions of humans are there? 6? 7? 8!? I forget.

        Anyway, my point? We should be giving the rifles to the polar bears, if only they could use them.
    • And it's also legal to shoot a half-grizzly, even though shooting grizzlies is illegal?

      Shooting grizzlies is legal if you have a tag, just not many tags sold a year.
    • It sounds like you're not so much pissed that a trophy hunter shot it, but that a wealthy trophy hunter shot it. This is class envy masquerading as ignorant environmentalistm.
      • Naw, he's just trying to hit a few extra buttons by bringing class warfare into it. That's how political agitators 'build coalitions around issues.' It's how Marxists in the 21st century manage to draw people to rallies. (i.e. International A.N.S.W.E.R.)
        • The term "wealthy trophy hunter" tells us that the guy had a free choice--that's why the financial status of the person matters. Disapproving of that choice has nothing to do with "class warfare", it's a simple recognition that motivation matters.

          People like you just find it convenient to deflect from their reprehensible behavior by saying "you'd do this, too, if you only had the money". Well, sorry to burst your bubble, but that's wrong: while we excuse bad choices made under economic or other duress to
      • According to the article, the hunter, Jim Martell, paid his Inuit guide about $45,450 for the privilege of hunting polar bears. I don't know about you, I think that a live, in-the-wild, polar-grizzly hybrid is worth more than $45,450. Forget that the hunter is wealthy, he robbed everyone from biology researchers to National Geographic documentarians to the general public.
        • Then again, perhaps the bear would have lived its life unnoticed by biology researchers and the National Geographic documentarians. Who would ever gotten up close enough to it to really notice the differences? Look at the picture in the article... looks like a polar bear.

          Seems like it wouldn't have been discovered if that bonehead hadn't shot it.

          If scientists need to study the hybrid bears, they can always examine the specimens in zoos.
      • Wealth only came into it because 1) this guy was wealthy, as he would have to be to buy the tag to shoot the bear and 2) only wealthy people have the time to waste to travel to far away locations just to shoot things to bring back as souvenirs.

        You apparently didn't "hear" the real distinction, which was people who shoot things to make dinner versus people who shoot things to make decorations for their den.

        I have family who hunts for sport -- as in they don't need to hunt in order to eat -- and likes a good
      • Your use of the term "class envy" implies that you think that people disapprove of this kind of behavior because they want to do it themselves but can't. Sorry, but that's wrong.

        The fact that a "wealthy trophy hunter" shot it carries a lot of information about the motivations of the person behind the gun. Talking about a him this way is a perfectly reasonable and legitimate way to summarize this.

        More generally, disapproval of such frivolous behavior often has nothing to do with envy. Many people could aff
    • So it's apparently legal to shoot polar bears in Canada, despite the fact that they're considered one of the animals facing increasing threats in the future from withdrawing sea ice?

      It's only illegal to kill something pointlessly if you're not rich enough to waste 45,000 dollars to do it.

      That's your lesson for the day boys and girls. Everything is moral if you have enough money.

      I'm not entirely opposed to hunting, but he'd better eat that fucking bear.

    • and have a bunch of respect for people who know how to turn a shotgun shell or rifle bullet into dinner.

      Kinda sounds like a point-and-click interface to me.
  • trophy "hunters" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by loomis (141922) on Sunday May 14, 2006 @12:37AM (#15328075)
    This was previously discussed at another forum yesterday, and the general consensus was what a complete travesty it is that this animal was killed by a "trophy hunter."

    Interestingly, the people who were most offended were other hunters. Not trophy hunters, but those who hunt legally as a means to control herd populations and to feed their families. In my experince, standard hunters aren't so inexperienced and quick to shoot at anything that moves than a normal hunter. I mean you've got to get somethingto show for your 45K right?

    And now, because this "hunter" didn't know the value of this animal, it is dead before it could be studied further and / or protected.
    • On the flip side, as another poster said - grizzlies are tough SOBs, and can be easily aggravated, and Polar bears will attack humans without provocation (grizzlies tend to leave people alone if you keep your distance and dont give in to their threats and try running away). Mix them, and what do you get?

      Grizzly-polar bear mixes are dangerous for both breeds; its a DNA cross contamination that, if it occured more frequently, would water down both breeds.

      It is sad that a fairly unique creature is killed. It
      • Oh might as well add - as someone who grew up in Wisconsin, I hunted, but I ate whatever I shot... man do I love venison... but I hate trophy hunters as well.
        • I don't hate trophy hunters, even though I'm not one of them. I'm very much a 'eat what I shoot' type person, unless I shot a non-game animal due to disease, injury(putting it out of it's misery), or threat(it's looking to eat me). Though there are people who eat bear, besides the Inuit.

          I just think that if the government feels that it needs to hand out a limited number of tags, to manage a large predator population, it should be like the indians and seek the largest use from it.

          If that means catering to
    • Re:trophy "hunters" (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Miraba (846588)
      Hate to break it to you, but this wasn't a unique animal. If scientists want to study a polar/grizzly cross, all they need to do is go to a zoo that already has one.

      As others have pointed out, conservation biology says that this cross is a bad thing, meaning it has very low value and should not be protected. See controversy over the conservation of various big cats through cross-breeding for more info.

  • by Winlin (42941) on Sunday May 14, 2006 @12:44AM (#15328094)
    I wonder what it drops? And if it's something good, when does it pop next?
    Note to self...really gotta take a break from MMORPGs
  • jesus christ (PBUH) - life imitates art!

    this is straight out of colbert
  • by EddieBurkett (614927) on Sunday May 14, 2006 @01:17AM (#15328177)
    Could this just be part of the "Repatriation Accelerated De-territorialization of Ursus Maritimus through gene therapy and extreme climate change?"
  • "from the no-one-tell-stephen-colbert dept."

    Well, it looks like someone missed an episode last week...
  • by greg1104 (461138) <gsmith@gregsmith.com> on Sunday May 14, 2006 @03:47AM (#15328543) Homepage
    That might explain how a grizzly got to the region, but few can explain how it managed to get along with a polar bear long enough to mate.

    Clearly none of the people speculating spend much time drinking. You can mate anything with enough Tequila.
    • I can explain it too: the grizzly raped the polar bear.
    • You can mate anything with enough Tequila.

      On the other hand, its pretty hard to say no to a 500kg bear. Not that I frequent those kind of bars...
    • That reminds me of a joke I heard long ago.

      While working in Alaska, an oil worker from Texas decides he wants to try to fit in and be accepted by the locals. So, while at a bar, he asks what he would have to do to be considered a real Alaskan. A local fella tells him that there are three steps. First, he has to drink a pint of Alaskan whisky in a single draught. Second, he has to shoot a polar bear. And third, he has to make love to an Eskimo woman.

      After downing the whisky, he wobbles out of the bar,
  • by sl4shd0rk (755837) on Sunday May 14, 2006 @06:44AM (#15328917)
    "That might explain how a grizzly got to the region, but few can explain how it managed to get along with a polar bear long enough to mate."

    alcohol

    --
  • by DemiKnute (237008) on Sunday May 14, 2006 @07:07AM (#15328960) Homepage
    Scientists who would have liked to study the bear are not so lucky.

    Maybe the scientists who would have liked to study a grizzly/polar mix should go to a zoo, where they already exist, as mentioned in the article. I think that would be a lot easier.
  • by Bertie (87778) on Sunday May 14, 2006 @08:19AM (#15329110)
    Who needs Wikipedia when you've got this sort of expertise?

    " animal of the week today is the polar bear which is pretty much the king of the animal kingdom because it is a cross of the best bits of a tiger, a shark and a Hulk Hogan. if you think that you can imagine how strong a polar bear is then think again because you are wrong. it is stronger than that and it is probably stronger than your next guess. we are talking about an animal that can leg press over 500kg and curl 200kg with ease. pretty much the only thing that it cant do is squat thrusts but they are gay anyway. polar bears have a furry bellend to protect it from the cold."

    Animal Of The Week [animaloftheweek.co.uk]
  • by aapold (753705) * on Sunday May 14, 2006 @09:46AM (#15329298) Homepage Journal
    if it drank coca-cola or pepsi....
  • Scientists who would have liked to study the bear are not so lucky.

    Well, they were luckier than the bear.
  • by whoop (194)
    ... bred for their skills in magic.

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