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A rare white-coated black bear has met a tragic end after being spotted in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
The one-in-a-million bear was killed by wolves shortly after the Facebook group Yooper Outdoors #906 published photos of the bear on September 6, 2022.
The group, a Michigan-based tour guide and outfitter, informed Fox News Digital this week that the white black bear was found dead after sighting the animal in early September.
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“Our wolf population has devastated our big game populations in the UP,” wrote Yooper Outdoors #906 in a Facebook chat.
The bear was originally captured on a game camera in Michigan’s western Upper Peninsula.
It had rummaged through bait that a hunter had placed there.
“In the Yoop there was a white black bear in front of the camera!” the post reads.
“Extremely rare, though [you] never know what [may be] run into your bait!”
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources told Fox 2 Detroit that they are “pretty certain” the bear actually has white fur.
“I just thought it was too cool,” said Cody Norton, DNR’s large carnivore specialist.
“It’s just exciting to see such an animal appearing here instead of anywhere else.”
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“Some cinnamon color phases have turned up on some game cameras that we use for surveys, some blonde and chocolate colors, which is also really cool to see,” he said.
“But they are more common in bear populations. White is his own thing.”
The bear was around two years old and was most likely the rare product of two bears that both carried a recessive gene for white fur, according to Norton and Fox 2 Detroit.
This occurs almost exclusively in western Canada, where Kermode bears — a subspecies of American black bears — live in the province, the same sources state.
Only up to 20% of the bear population has white fur.
These bears are sometimes referred to as “ghost bears.”
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Norton told Fox Detroit that it’s very rare that this bear has appeared in such a large and interconnected area that houses 80% of Michigan’s 10,050 bears.