Jackalopes Aren’t Real But Grolar Bears Are

By April Ryder | Published

You won’t ever encounter a jackalope in your lifetime, but the possibility of encountering a grolar bear isn’t entirely out of the question. It may sound like a funny name (especially because they’re also called “pizzly” bears), but there’s nothing funny about a cross between a polar bear and a grizzly bear. 

Survival Of The Fittest

Aided partly by climate change, the grolar bear’s existence is a real-life example of Darwin’s “survival of the fittest” theory. The polar bear’s natural habitat, the frozen terrain, and waters of the polar ice caps, is rapidly shrinking away due to the effects of global warming, and life is finding a way to keep moving forward. 

Polar bears have been in danger of extinction for many years now, and the shifting of temperature zones is causing their habitat to overlap with that of the grizzly bear. Well, when there’s not a lot of your kind hanging around, you’ll find the next best thing to keep the family lineage alive. Enter the grolar bear.  

Replacing The Polar Bear

It sounds like a fairly cool move on nature’s part, but it’s not necessarily good news for the future survival of polar bears as a species. In a few decades, the polar bear may no longer exist in the form we know now. They could be bred out of existence.  

The species may likely shift and adapt in a way that the grolar bear replaces its existence entirely, especially if climate change continues down its current path. On the flip side, creating the grolar bear keeps the polar bear alive in a completely different environment and ensures the species lives on in some way. 

Only Thought To Be In Captivity

At first, grolar bears were only known to have been created in captivity. In 2006, nature proved otherwise when a Canadian hunter shot a bear with white and speckled brown fur, a humped back, and the long claws of a grizzly, but it wasn’t a grizzly bear. After DNA testing, it was proven to be a true and wild grolar bear. 

Since the first discovery of a wild hybrid grolar bear near Sachs Harbour, Northwest Territories, on Banks Island in the Canadian Arctic, there have been at least eight more hybrids found in the area, all of them descending from the same female polar bear. 

The Future Of The Bear

Another explanation for the interspecies mingling is an increase in grizzly bear population. As the population rises, the male grizzlies tend to leave their dens earlier than normal, looking for a new female to mate. With climate change leading the female polar bears further south for foraging and food, it may be that the grizzly males have found a new way to satiate their undying need to breed. 

Either way, you don’t want to find yourself alone in the wild with one of these animals. Polar bears are the only bear species that has been known to hunt humans, and grizzly bears will stand their ground in an encounter with a human, typically tearing them to shreds. You can only imagine the temperament of their offspring. 

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