Rare “white” black bear taken in by the Calgary Zoo

A rare “white” black bear that was becoming a pest in a small British Columbian community has been rescued by the Calgary Zoo.

It and another white-furred black bear began lingering around the town of Elkford and feeding on its garbage about two years ago. While conservation officers relocated the bears across the border to Alberta’s Kananaskis Country, one of them returned for the easily accessible food and, according to reports, was even seen pulling a sleeping bag out of a tent on a nearby campground. That’s when more serious measures had to be taken.

Luckily, that didn’t involve destroying the bear, which is often the case when they start posing a risk to humans.

“Unfortunately we don’t have the capacity to take in all problem bears,” zoo spokesperson Laurie Skene told the Calgary Metro. An exception was made for this one because of its rare colouring, which is said to be linked to a recessive gene.

“Ultimately, this young bear will become an ambassador animal and help to educate millions of people about how to respect wildlife and make sure that their actions don’t result in creating problem bears in the future,” the zoo wrote in a Facebook post welcoming the bear.

For more about the zoo’s new resident, you can check out their Facebook page.