Brown Bears And Polar Bears In Siberia Might Soon Start Creating Hybrids Called The ‘Brolar Bear’

If you think about hybrids, what’s the first species that comes to mind?

Some of the more popular ones you’ve probably heard of are ligers, tigons, coywolves, or even mules! To be honest, I didn’t know that the mule was a hybrid between a donkey and a horse until just recently.

But another species that’s half polar bear is part of our ever-growing list of hybrids.

PHOTO: Unsplash/Hans-Jurgen Mager

This terrifyingly cute but deadly species is one of the many victims of climate change. They’re the poster child for the impacts of climate change even, according to WWF, being that they thrive in the cold and depend on sea ice for every aspect of their lives from resting to hunting prey that also resides in the icy waters of the Arctic.

The hybrid’s other half is of the brown bear. The grizzly-polar bear hybrid is more commonly known as the pizzly bear, but the closely related brown bear and polar bear hybrid is known as a “brolar bear.”

It can get confusing, as grizzly bears and brown bears can be used interchangeably in America; the main difference between the subspecies is their geographic location. Grizzlies are a subspecies of brown bears that can be found in North America, while others live near the arctic, which is where this new hybrid comes from.

PHOTO: Wikimedia/By Кирилл Уютнов – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

“Brown bears are moving into the tundra. Brown bears have been seen in the lower reaches of the Kolyma River, where polar bears live,” said Innokentiy Okhlopkov, a researcher at the Russian Academy of Sciences.

What’s happening in Siberia now is basically just the same situation as what happened with the polar bears and grizzlies in America with the pizzly bears – climate change is making polar bears move inland, while brown bears move northwards.

Researchers suspect that it’s more than likely that polar bears and brown bears in Siberia will result in a new hybrid that they are now calling the brolar bear. Though there have been no sightings yet of a new species, residents have witnessed the two species frequenting the same places in a region of Siberia.

Watch a quick recap on brolar bears in the video below.

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