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Cindy Wheeler | profile | all galleries >> Spirit bears, or Kermode bears, BC, Canada Sep 2008 tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Spirit bears, or Kermode bears, BC, Canada Sep 2008

A spirit bear, or Kermode bear, is a subspecies of the American Black Bear. These particular black bears carry a recessive gene that cause a small percentage of their offspring to have these white or cream colored coats. They are not albino and they are not polar bears.

I took a photography workshop (shootthelight.com) and we got right where the action was. I was told by a couple of people that the spirit bears are very rare and we wouldn't get to see the them but our luck (and the weather) held out. Beautiful sunny days and 2 spirit bears (3 sightings of the 2), black bears, humpback whales, many very shy harbor seals (no pictures), 3 types of salmon, eagles, a mink and pine martens. We stayed on a 71' sailboat, Ocean Light II, and went ashore at various places in the rain forest in B.C. What a fun, productive trip.

I hope you enjoy the images.
Spirit Bear (a sub-species of the black bear) in BC, Canada
Spirit Bear (a sub-species of the black bear) in BC, Canada
Prince Rupert where we caught the float plane.
Prince Rupert where we caught the float plane.
The boat.  If you look closely you can see Jenn waving.
The boat. If you look closely you can see Jenn waving.
Fish tail (pink salmon)
Fish tail (pink salmon)
Juvenile bald eagle
Juvenile bald eagle
This was the second day and we saw this one from the boat.
This was the second day and we saw this one from the boat.
(not a very good shot) of a spider web dripping with dew.
(not a very good shot) of a spider web dripping with dew.
Heads and Tails (Pink Salmon)
Heads and Tails (Pink Salmon)
Isn't this guy cool. Look at his blonde face. Giving us the eye.
Isn't this guy cool. Look at his blonde face. Giving us the eye.
Spirit Bear - look at his white toe nails.  The logs make him look small but he's a big bear.
Spirit Bear - look at his white toe nails. The logs make him look small but he's a big bear.
Spirit bear. He looks so cute when he's looking in the water for the salmon.
Spirit bear. He looks so cute when he's looking in the water for the salmon.
Spirit bear. Someone saw this and asked if he was pooping.  No!  He's eating.  You can see the fish head under his left paw.
Spirit bear. Someone saw this and asked if he was pooping. No! He's eating. You can see the fish head under his left paw.
Spirit bear  Love the bottom of his foot.
Spirit bear Love the bottom of his foot.
Spirit bear. He's caught another fish already
Spirit bear. He's caught another fish already
He's catching another one!  He chased it and had to run under the tree to catch it.
He's catching another one! He chased it and had to run under the tree to catch it.
This is the last I saw of him. He headed off in the woods after this shot.
This is the last I saw of him. He headed off in the woods after this shot.
We saw this coast guard boat one evening. It sure was lit up.
We saw this coast guard boat one evening. It sure was lit up.
Pine marten
Pine marten
Do you see the salmon he's trying to catch?
Do you see the salmon he's trying to catch?
Standing on a pretty small rock.
Standing on a pretty small rock.
Still fishing
Still fishing
The water doesn't soak into their fur so it just flies right off when they shake.
The water doesn't soak into their fur so it just flies right off when they shake.
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You can see the salmon right under his right paw.  He missed it.
You can see the salmon right under his right paw. He missed it.
He's a beautiful bear
He's a beautiful bear
Catching a fish
Catching a fish
Salmon.  I was told they get those upper teeth and the hump on their back when it's time to spawn.
Salmon. I was told they get those upper teeth and the hump on their back when it's time to spawn.
Skinning the fish
Skinning the fish
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