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Ready for winter? Brown bear cub wears a natural white scarf in enchanting new pictures

By The Siberian Times reporter
05 October 2017

The rare colouring makes Motya a standout star in Kamchatka - but where does her unusual colouring come from? 

Most brown bears are born with a 'white tie' around their necks but usually this vanishes. Sometimes genetics plays tricks. Picture: Dmitry Voronov/Kronotsky Nature Reserve

The two year old female is a typical brown bear in every other way, fishing with her mother and playing with her sister at Kuril Lake, a caldera and crater lake also known as Kurilskoye Lake or Kurile Lake.

She has a tendency to steal food from her sister, a cub not sharing her special colouring. 

Dmitry Voronov, a volunteer at the Kronotsky State Reserve, said :'As soon as mom catches a fish, Motya tries to take away a piece with a roar, sometimes getting a parental rebuke for excessive zeal. 

Bear Motya


Bear Motya


Bear Motya with her family


Bear Motya with her family

The two year old female is a typical brown bear in every other way, fishing with her mother and playing with her sister at Kuril Lake. Pictures: Dmitry Voronov/Kronotsky Nature Reserve

'She also likes to take away food from her sister. Lelya, her sister, does not steal food, but usually begs for it. 

'Both bear cubs are equally well-nourished, cheerful and often more independent than their peers from other families.'

And Motya's scarf? 

Most brown bears are born with a 'white tie' around their necks but usually this vanishes. Sometimes genetics plays tricks. 

Bear Motya as a cub


Bear Motya as a cub

She has a tendency to steal food from her sister, a cub not sharing her special colouring.  Pictures: Kronotsky Nature Reserve

Motya's white stripe has outstayed her infant months. 

In 2012, rangers from Kronotsky State Nature Reserve on the shore of the same lake noticed a beast with white paws.

The tips of the cub's ears were also white. When the bear walked, its white paws were on show. 

'It was as if two bright mittens were protecting his ears,' said photographer Nikolay Zinovyev.

The bear was nicknamed 'Beloukhiy' or White ears. 

White bear


White bear

'At the end of July 2016, rafting along the Bystraya River in western Kamchatka, a group of tourists observed a bear with two grown cubs. One was almost white, with pink eyes.' Pictures: Visit Kamchatka

'Beloukhiy differed from other bears not only by appearance, but also by behaviour. 

And in his behaviour were visible the makings of the future dominant male. 

'Even in the game, he declared his ambitions for leadership: he often got up on his hind legs and showed his power.

'He skilfully fought and felled his rivals on their back. 

'He did not much welcome my approach - it was necessary to watch him from a decent distance.' 

Beloukhiy


Beloukhiy

'Beloukhiy differed from other bears not only by appearance, but also by behaviour. And in his behaviour were visible the makings of the future dominant male. Pictures: Nikolay Zinoviev

Alexander Nikanorov, a scientific consultant at the reserve, said: 'At the end of July 2016, rafting along the Bystraya River in western Kamchatka, a group of tourists observed a bear with two grown cubs. 

'One was almost white, with pink eyes. 

'However, it was not an albino because the nose and claws, according to eyewitnesses, were dark. 

'In Kronotsky, Koryaksky reserve and South Kamchatka Federal Wildlife Sanctuary, meetings with such light-coloured bears have not been recorded in the previous history of scientific observations.' 

So they are rare. 

Comments (3)

Elegant Lady...
Thank Ronald for your comment.
Does anybody know if brown bear could breed with black bear (which have a white scarf also)? Do they live in the same area sometimes?
Jocelyne, FRANCE
07/10/2017 20:39
3
0
In recent years in Canada, a hunter felled a bear he thought was a light colored grizzly (brown Bear) but then, on closer exam of the bear he killed, he thought he'd killed a polar bear. There was an investigation and DNA proved the bear was a hybrid. With the polar ice retreat, the bears may look for alternatives and one of those alternatives could be moving into brown bear country. I'm not saying the bears written in this article are hybrids, but there may be this possibility arise -
Ronald Thomas West, West Glacier, Montana USA
07/10/2017 19:57
3
0
beautiful photos. just keep the idiots with their guns away. the< will shoot anything, special if it is unusual, to make some money.
Benedikt MORAK, Moscow
06/10/2017 12:30
4
0
1

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