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article imageCamera allows world to watch B.C. Kermode Spirit Bear in den

By Stephanie Dearing     Feb 19, 2010 in Environment
It might not seem like much - a camera tucked into the den of a hibernating rare British Columbia bear. But it is the first time that interested people around the world can watch a Spirit bear during hibernation for an extended period of time.
Rosswood, British Columbia - The bear has been named "Apollo," and he is a rare white bear better known as a "Spirit Bear." A webcam is recording his daytime hibernation and the people who found the den and put up the camera say they are working on night vision. It's not as exciting to watch a bear hibernate as it is to watch an eagle's nest, but it is a rare glimpse into a world many never have an opportunity to see.
Stephanie Wayman and her husband, who spend a lot of time in the woods photographing and filming the Spirit Bears, said they found the den last year, but only just got the camera operating recently. The opportunity to see the bear is stunning, as the bears are rare, and very hard to find. Wayman said she had informed British Columbia's Ministry of the Environment of the camera.
The Kermode Bear is a rare subspecies of black bear, believed to have a recessive gene which causes the hair to be blond or cream-coloured. The species is only found in a very specific area in British Columbia, and their habitat is under threat from logging and mining interests. The species is not listed with the Canadian government as being at risk or threatened.
There is now a movie available that illustrates the quest taken by one young man, Simon Jackson, who started a movement to fight industry interests in the area, ultimately protecting the bear species. Named a Hero of the Planet by Time Magazine in 2000, Simon still works to protect the bears. Jackson is presently working to save British Columbia's rain forest. He has also been working on a movie, The Spirit Bear, which was to be released this month.
More about British columbia kermode spirit, Rare bear, Rain forest, Simon jackson, Rare species
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