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Kermode Bears of BC, Canada


By touring - Posted on 25 May 2010

Kermode Bears of BC, Canada

Photo courtesy of Doug Neasloss &

The White Spirit Bear of British Columbia, Canada

Located on the remote west coast of Canada is a temperate rainforest that's home to the of BC. Genetically rare, these black bears are white, yellowish and golden in colour and are collectively known as Kermode Bears. The highest concentration of Spirit bears can be found in the .

These are not related to . They are a sub-species of the North American black bear and can not interbreed with grizzly or polar bears.

Where are Spirit Bears Located

A few hundred Spirit Bears can be found in the on the Pacific coast but have been documented as far east as Minnesota. The rich coastal rain forest provides abundant food and seclusion for them to survive.





  • Spirit bears are also called Kermode bears after Frank Kermode, the former director of the who did extensive research on the sub-species.
  • Spirit bears are not albino since their eyes are not red & their nose is not white. They can range in color from golden brown to yellow to white. A mottled coat is normal.
  • Black bears weight between 150 - 500 lbs, smaller than grizzly bears which also inhabit the BC coast.
  • Kermode bears eat the abundant berries, fruit, grass & roots in the temperate coastal rain forest. Their main source of protein is the salmon that migrate up the rivers and streams in autumn. Given the chance, they will hunt young deer.
  • Common to all bears, the young cubs stay with their mothers for the first year or two to learn how to forage and hunt.
  • Black bears can live to more than 25 years old. They may look cute & cuddly but are wild animals and should be treated appropriately. Learn how to when venturing into the wild.


View Spirit Bear of Canada - Kitasoo Spirit Bear Protected Area in a larger map

As of 2006, the white Kermode bear is now one of the .

Get more insider tips on Canadian Adventures at Scenic Travel Canada.

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