The incredible video below was taken by the Clarkson family as they were on a drive along the Canada Highway near Alberta’s Banff National Park.

There are two bears in the video. One is an ordinary grizzly, the other was pure white. They are digging for food alongside the highway.

Local bear expert Sarah Elmeligi explained that the white coloring is a result of recessive genes. “As far as I know, this is the whitest bear ever seen in Banff,” she says. “They could be blonde or dark brown, but this bear isn’t even really blonde. It looks pretty white in the photos, so it’s extremely rare.”

Besides the video below, I was able to find this photo of the same bear along some railroad tracks in the same area.

The white bear might be new to the family that spotted it, and most who live and work outside the park, but the Banff National Park have been watching the white grizzly since 2017, when it left its mother. They even named the bear Nakoda, which means “friend” or “ally” in the language of the Stoney Nakoda Nation. The mother has a boring name: they call her  “Bear 156.” She was part of a 2012-17 Canadian Pacific-Parks Canada study.

The two bears that are seen together in the video are siblings. Born together, but only the one has the recessive gene.

The family was excited to show the park service their video. But they were reminded, like so many tourists often are, that they should keep their distance. These are wild animals and are very powerful. Bad things can happen.

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