Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Bear Fight!

Yesterday's Globe and Mail reports on research indicating that grizzly populations are starting to migrate into polar bear territory. This crossing has occurred in the past, as evidenced by the 2006 discovery of a polar-grizzly hybrid, but is becoming more frequent. This, of course, has re-ignited the age-old debate over which would win in a fight. From the article:
Dr. Rockwell, dedicated academic that he is, has pondered such a tilt at length. He believes the two bears would most likely come into contact around the peat banks that make the only decent denning ground within Wapusk National Park. Because polar bears only den when they're giving birth, the most possible scenario would see a weakened female take on a grizzly of either sex.

“If it's a fight between a 1,200-pound male polar bear and a 600-pound grizzly, I think we know who would win,” Dr. Rockwell said. “But in this likeliest of cases, it's debatable. There are actually reports in the literature where grizzlies have killed denning polar bear females.”
Naturally, non-experts are weighing in as well:
“Polar bears are used to eating seals which are easy prey, while grizzlys [sic] hunt lions,” wrote one dubiously informed member of a Yahoo message board.

At, members have devoted 19 pages worth of comments to the prospective fight.
Bear baiting may not be dead after all.


Rob said...

A liger would slay a pozzly bear.