Andrew Derocher, the head of the University of Alberta's Polar Bear Lab, said that polar bears are likely to disappear at a rate that far outpaces hybridization, though there have been isolated incidents of polar bears being subsumed into grizzlies throughout history."There were polar bears on Alaska's ABC Islands at one time, but once the climate warmed the polar bears left, and the individuals that remained saw their genes flooded by brown bear genes coming from the mainland," said Derocher.Bear was even filmed on camera asking one: "Do you fancy a shag?" A source close to Charlotte told us: "Charlotte was slow to confirm the relationship because she wasn't sure what Bear was getting up to while he was filming Celebs Go Dating.The hybridization so far could, after all, merely be the result of one female's unusual penchant for humpbacked grizzlies.But that doesn't mean things won't change for the Arctic's apex predator.
Though what initially appeared to be a sudden spate of hybridization in the western Canadian Arctic ultimately originated with the "unusual mating" between three non-hybrid parents, that's not to say the breakdown of species barriers can't simply start with the strange mating preferences of certain individuals.Thanks to reduced hunting, a warming climate and better management, "grizzlies are expanding their range in all directions right now, after going through a couple hundred years of range retractions," said Derocher.Recently, he recalled seeing a grizzly bear out on the edge of the sea ice during fieldwork east of Churchill, Manitoba."Until we see evidence of successful matings between hybrids and polar bears, this threat is not substantiated," the researchers concluded.Among experts, hybridization – and possible grizzly gene swamping – isn't seen as a primary threat.