The hero, Oz Thormond, is a scientist who does research on polar bears. He takes Cheryl Holland along on one of his research trips. Cheryl is a small-town grandmother who fixes her own car out of necessity and works as office manager for her son-in-law, who is a veterinarian. She’s sure she and Oz don’t have much in common—until she sees him work and comes to love wildlife research as much as he does.
|The top mark on the blue pole is 10'|
My son mentioned to me a rare phenomenon—the interbreeding of grizzlies and polar bears. He’d heard about it in 2006, when a man with an official license to shoot a polar bear shot what he thought was a polar bear and then realized it was very odd looking. Its fur was mostly cream-colored, but it had brown patches, and it had long claws and a humped back like a grizzly. The hunter could have been in huge trouble legally if the bear was found to be a grizzly—say, an albino grizzly. But it wasn’t.
DNA testing showed that the bear had a grizzly bear for its father and a polar bear mother, what scientists call a grolar bear. (If the father’s a polar bear and the mother’s a grizzly, it’s a pizzly.) Well, this intriguing bit of information had to go into my book. A few of these hybrids have been born in captivity, but it’s the ones found in the wild that interest me most. I gave Cheryl and Oz a chance for a close encounter with a grolar when they were out “catching polar bears” for their research.
If you’d like to see pictures of this rare creature, you can find them by searching online for “grolar bear.” I was delighted to see a live bear in the wild while I was in Alaska, but it was a black bear, not a polar bear. But the idea of going out into the wild and deliberately coming face to face with these huge carnivores enticed me in a scary sort of way. (I was in a small airplane when I saw my black bear). I don’t think I’d want to do what Oz and Cheryl do, but I’m glad someone has done it, so that we can know more about these marvelous creatures.
Nice visiting with you! Come see me on my Website at: http://www.susanpagedavis.com/
Photo courtesy of Peter Vetsch, taken at the Denver Zoo
Question of the Day: Do you live in a part of the country where there are bears? What kind of bears?