Thursday February 27, 2014, 2:52 pm
The Spirit Bear is one of North America’s greatest wildlife treasures. Native only to the coastal rainforest of Canada’s British Columbia, it is a race of black bears in which a recessive gene causes one out of ten cubs to be born all white. But Big Oil has other plans for the land of the Spirit Bear. The Northern Gateway pipeline, proposed by energy giant Enbridge, would carry 500,000 barrels a day of the world’s dirtiest oil from the Alberta tar sands directly through the bear’s rainforest home.
A serious pipeline break could happen at any time as a river of toxic oil is pumped from the Alberta tar sands across the spectacular mountains and rivers of British Columbia. But it gets worse: When that oil reaches the Spirit Bear Coast, it will be loaded onto supertankers that will have to navigate treacherous reefs, hurricane-force winds and a channel six times narrower than the passage that sank the Exxon Valdez!
Those oil-laden tankers will need to pass Princess Royal Island, the last stronghold of the Spirit Bear, as they churn through wildlife-filled waters that are home to orcas, humpbacks, fin whales and Steller sea lions.
Thursday February 27, 2014, 3:56 pm
This near clearly look like a Polar Bear. Thank you Samantha R. for the added information. Yet another reason this pipeline can bring disaster to another fragile species.
Friday February 28, 2014, 1:44 am
These bears are beautiful in their habitat. I would fight every day to stop Enbridge in B.C, and Trans Canada in the U.S. heartland bread basket! Thank you and the photographer for such great shots!