Being unique is a special thing that doesn't just happen with human adults who want to dye their hair half blue (Sorry, mom.) Sometimes we see animals and creatures in the wild that are a little unique in their own coloring.

And while it's not uncommon to see albino mice, squirrels, and rabbits, it's rarer to find animals hiding in the forest with this coloration.

albino deer
Stephanie Light Vescio via PureUP/Facebook
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However, a white 'Spirit Bear' has found it's way to Michigan's Upper Peninsula, and it's shocking those who come across it.

Why is it called a spirit bear?

According to wikipedia, the Kermode bear (which we know better as the spirit bear), is a subspecies of the American black bear and lives in the Central and North Coastal regions of British Columbia, Canada. They sometimes wander down to Michigan, which is why we are seeing this little bear now.

Wikipedia
Wikipedia
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Spirit Bears got their beloved nickname because they hold a prominent place in the oral traditions of the indigenous peoples of the area.

What causes Spirit Bears to be white or colorless?

White bears aren't quite the same as the smaller albino animals and pets you've seen before. Technically, these bears are just blonde, and not lacking in pigmentation.

This 'one-in-a-million' coloring is caused when both bear parents have the correct genes to pass along to their offspring to cause them to be blonde. Both bears can be black bears and still have a blonde offspring if they carry the recessive gene.

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BearConservation.org.uk
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Not every Kermode bear is white, but every Kermode bear has the genes to pass along the 'Spirit Bear' potential.

It's pretty awesome to see this rare bear making his way through the UP, but if you see them, please stay away and enjoy from afar. We'd love to see more of this cute friend in the future. If you'd like to see more photos of the newest resident of the U.P, you can click here.

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