The caramel bear cub captivating visitors to Whistler has been caught on camera wrestling with its mom on the ski resort’s grassy mountainside.
The video, posted on Vimeo by Whistler Blackcomb guide Kathy Jenkins, shows the bear cub rolling around the mountain with its mother, as it adorably tries to chew on her fur.
Speaking earlier to Daily Hive, Arthur De Jong, Mountain Planning and Environmental Resource Manager, said he too has had the privilege of watching the bear cub in action.
“It was certainly a very, very special experience in my life. I’ve never seen an off-white, almost-white cub before.”
De Jong says he saw the mother breastfeeding the baby bear, although she eventually swatted the persistent cub in the ear because she needed to eat herself.
“Its aggressive, its assertiveness with its mom was very entertaining… It was a beautiful experience in nature with very powerful creatures.”
He says although the cub can appear white next to its very black mother, the cub’s fur actually has a light brown sheen to it.
“It certainly appears not to be a Spirit or Kermode bear,” said De Jong. “It doesn’t have a black nose.”
“In terms of being an albino bear… although it’s nose is a slightly pink colour, it doesn’t have a strong pink colour and we cannot confirm its eyes yet.”
Whistler currently has some of the world’s best bear biologists studying the cub, says De Jong. It’s currently thought the cub’s colour is due to both parents having a recessive gene.
“Our greatest concern right now is that the cub survives. We’re not making it public where we’re seen it.”
De Jong says the problem is that it’s mating season, a time when the males move in on the mothers – which can put new cubs at risk.
“In order to have the mother mate, the mother must stop feeding her offspring,” said De Jong. “That’s one of the reasons why the male bear may kill the cub.
“So, it’s a very tough time to be a cub and we have our fingers crossed for this little guy.”