Fact Or Fiction: Bear Edition!

This week's weird bear news—plus one faker.

At BACKPACKER HQ, our own chief bear gets tons of weird questions, and often wonders why. The answer is simple: Because bears are always turning up in the news doing crazy things. But not all of the following bizarre bruin stories are real; see if you can guess which one isn’t.

Remember, no using the Google to cheat!

Grizzlies + Polar bears = Grolar Bears. Back in 2006, scientists found genetic material belonging to what they think is a “grolar bear”—a hybrid between bears and grizzlies. Researchers theorize that as climate change drives polar bears further south into brown bear habitat, the two species are mating more often, creating a new hybrid species where their range overlaps. Wildlife biologists hope to find living examples of grolar bears soon.

Say your bear prayers. A pastor in Incline Village, Nev., has asked his congregants to pray for the capture of a 700-lb. black bear that forced his way into the church, feasting on cereal, 22 jars of peanut butter, frozen cans of orange juice, and other items meant for holiday food boxes for the poor. Wildlife officials estimate the same bear may have caused as much as $70,000 worth of damage to nearby homes in similar food raids over last few months.

Grizzly bear scat found in Utah. Utah wildlife biologists suspect that a wandering grizzly followed natural migration corridors from Idaho’s Sawtooths into Utah’s High Uintas. While no specimen has been confirmed or photographed, rangers responded to sightings and discovered tracks and scat that closely match those of a brown bear. While they cannot determine if the bear in question is still roaming in Utah, they stress that no breeding population has been established, so this single bear is unlikely to spur any changes in bear management.

And the big lie is… (CLICK HERE TO READ)

Could you sniff out the stinker story? How did you know? Which one fooled you? Tell us in the comments section below.

—Ted Alvarez