The Kermode bear, also known as a “Spirit Bear” is a subspecies of the American Black Bear living in the central and north coast of British Columbia, Canada.
It is noted for about 1/10 of their population having white or cream-coloured coats. This colour morph is due to a recessive allele common in the population. They are not albinos and not any more related to polar bears or the “blonde” brown bears of Alaska’s “ABC Islands” than other members of their species.
National Geographic estimates the spirit bear population at 400-1000 individuals, saying that “The spirit bear may owe its survival to the protective traditions of the First Nations, who never hunted the animals or spoke of them to fur trappers.”