The pizzly bear is one of a handful of naturally-occurring animal hybrids. Also known as “grolar bears,” pizzly bears are the offspring that result from the mating of a polar bear and a brown grizzly bear. The first documented evidence of a pizzly bear was in 2006, in Canada's Northwest Territories. Hybridization of polar and grizzly bears is thought to be the result of melting Arctic Ocean sea ice, where polar bears live and hunt marine prey. The thawing sea ice forces polar bears onto land, where they are more likely to encounter and mate with grizzly bears, with whom they are closely related.
More about pizzly bears:
- Polar-grizzly bear hybrids tend to have physical features that are a balanced mix of their parents; however, their behavior more closely follows that of the polar bear.
- In 2010, a second-generation pizzly bear was discovered, indicating that unlike many animal hybrids, pizzlies may be able to successfully procreate.
- Mating between polar and grizzly bears isn’t spontaneous; it takes several days for the female to start ovulating and another several days of physical mating.