He shared that "the first time we saw a grizzly we were flying over the middle of Wapusk, counting fox dens" when Gormezano "shouted, 'Over there, over there-a grizzly bear.' And it wasn't a dirty polar bear or a moose-we saw the hump."
Before 1996, there was no evidence that grizzly bears encroached on polar bear territory. From that year on, however, there have been at least 12 sightings, negating the prior theory that the barren landscape north of the Hudson Bay was impassable, in terms of resources, for migrating grizzly bears. But the flexible bears, which can eat everything from meat to berries, have crossed the gap and likely won't look back much, since the polar bear region is known for its abundant caribou, moose, fish and berries.
"Although we don't yet know if they are wandering or staying-the proof will come from an observed den or cubs-these animals will eventually be residents of this national park," said Rockwell. "The Cree elders we talked to feel that now that grizzly bears have found this food source they will be staying."