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Spirit Bear (Kermode) - Wildlife, painting by Rain Longson

Spirit Bear (Kermode)

Entered into Ducks Unlimited Canada Competition, 2012. The original of this painting is for sale. Depending on the Ducks Unlimited competition prints may become available through them or me.

This is a painting that I did specifically for the Ducks Unlimited competition. I found an animal behaviorists who works closely with bears around the world. He lent me the photos of the Spirit Bear for the painting. You can see our communications in asking for permission and stuff. Now I have a spectacular new friend who has a great job that lives on the other side of the world.

The Kermode Bear or "Spirit Bear"

A seven minute film documenting the rare white Spirit Bear of BC's Great Bear Rainforest. ( From Kitasoo Xai'xais First Nation)

The spirit bear is a unique subspecies of the North American black bear in which approximately one in every 10 bears is white or cream-colored. Some have orange or yellow coloration on their backs. Other Kermodes are all black. The scientific name is Ursus americanus kermodei. The term "Spirit Bear" is possibly attributed to First Nations tradition, which held that the white bears were to be revered and protected. Today the Tsimshian people call it "moskgm'ol," which simply means "white bear."

Kermode bears may have evolved on the coast in the last 10,000 years from black bear stock that became isolated from interior black bears more than 300,000 years ago. The white color may be due to inheritance of a single gene for hair color, but other more complex mechanisms may be involved. Further genetic research is needed.

The spirit bear is a unique creature. It lives only on the Pacific coast of British Columbia, in Canada. The spirit bear is what scientists call an "umbrella species," that is, if a large enough suitable habitat can be protected for the spirit bear, many other species sharing the same ecosystem will also be protected under this umbrella; for example, salmon, birds, wolves, deer, grizzly bears, insects and many others. Rarely, a white bear is reported from other black bear populations elsewhere in North America but these are from different subspecies.

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Spirit Bear (Kermode)

Title: Spirit Bear (Kermode)r
Medium: Acrylic on canvas
Size: 30 x 20 x 1.75
Price: 2,100.00
ID Number: 0307-12

Art prints of my work are available through my shop