One-in-million 'spirit bear' killed shortly after being spotted

One-in-million 'spirit bear' killed shortly after being spotted
Black bear has a ball rolling in sawdust in northern Minnesota

A unique black bear with white fur, also known as a "spirit bear," was spotted in Michigan - but it was killed moments later.

The one-in-a-million bear was unfortunately killed by wolves shortly after snaps of the bear were posted by Facebook group Yooper Outdoors #906 on 6 September.

"Happy Bear Eve!! There's been a white, black bear on camera in the Yoop! Extremely rare, but ya never know what May coming walking into your bait," the post read.

The group, a Michigan-based guide service, and outfitter, told Fox News Digital that the white-coloured black bear was found dead following the early-September sighting of the animal, having been killed by wolves.

"Our wolf population has devastated our big game populations in the U.P.," Yooper Outdoors #906 said in another Facebook post.

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The bear was initially spotted on a trail camera in Michigan's western upper peninsula.

It had been digging through bait placed there by a hunter.

Michigan's Department of Natural Resources (DNR) told Fox 2 Detroit that they are almost "certain" the bear has a white fur coat.

"It's just exciting seeing an animal pop up like this here instead of somewhere else," said Cody Norton, DNR's large carnivore specialist.

He also said that they've seen other fur colours from the bears, including cinnamon, "chocolate," and "blonde," which is typical in "bear populations."

"White is its own thing," he added.

Norton further Fox 2 Detroit that it is rare for this bear to have shown up in such a large and widely connected area, where 80 per cent of Michigan's population of 10,050 bears live.

Fox 2 Detroit and Norton also said the bear was roughly two years old and most likely the rare product of two bears with a recessive gene for white fur.

This generally occurs exclusively in western Canada, where Kermode bears, which is an American black bear subspecies, dwell in the province, the sources stated.

Up to 20 per cent of the bear population only has white fur.

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