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Along the remote coast of British Columbia in western Canada lies the Great Bear Rainforest, one of the largest areas of unspoiled temperate rainforest left in the world. It’s here that a mysterious black bear (Ursus americanus kermodei) walks out of Native legend to call these special forests home. Legend says when Earth was covered in ice, Raven the Creator changed the land to a beautiful green. But to remind us of when Earth was pure, clean and covered with snow and ice, Raven went among the black bear and turned every tenth bear white.

This is Spirit Bear. And if you don’t head the lesson of his legend, well, this proud Spirit will blow you a raspberry and say “Hey, no messing with my rainforest!”.

August 2011 footnote   I encourage you to read National Geographic Magazine’s August issue which has two feature articles on this grand creature and his land. First is the cover story The Wildest Place in North America – Land of the Spirit Bear. Second story educates us about threats to his habitat in Pipeline Through Paradise.

Shot handheld using:
Canon EOS 40D with Canon EF75-300mm f/4.5-5.6 IS USM lens
Focal length 220mm, Exposure 1/250 sec at f/5.6, ISO 800

Featured by the groups
Beautiful BC April 14 2011
Amazing Wildlife August 27 2011
Love these Creatures March 31 2012
Nature Photography Challenge April 4 2012
Amazing Wildlife May 2 2012


During an unexpected chance to experience Africa, a seed was planted. Nurtured by subsequent forays into wild places, this photographer was born.

Jacques Cousteau said “People protect what they love.” And we’ve all heard that “A picture is worth a thousand words.” So, enough with this. My photography says the rest. Thanks for listening.

Sylvia J. Zarco
aka Owed to Nature

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Comments

  • Kimberly Chadwick
    Kimberly Chadwickover 4 years ago

    Beautiful story for a beautiful capture! thank you so much for sharing it with us in the Albino’s, Leucistic’s & Rarities…….Oh My! group!

  • Thank you Kimberly. With additional thanks for giving unique creatures like this a place to gather with your group.

    – Owed to Nature

  • Olitto
    Olittoover 4 years ago

    Great capture and an interesting story OTN.

  • Thank you very much Olitto!

    – Owed to Nature

  • JaniceMachado
    JaniceMachadoabout 4 years ago

  • Thank you so much Janice.
    –Sylvia

    – Owed to Nature

  • Trish Meyer
    Trish Meyeralmost 4 years ago

    Wonderful capture Sylvia !

  • Thank you Trish. It’s some of the most fun to catch Nature’s regal creatures when they’re just being silly! Glad you enjoyed too. ;-)

    – Owed to Nature

  • Trish Meyer
    Trish Meyeralmost 4 years ago


    3 February 2011 … one image a day

  • Thank you to the Group too!
    –Sylvia

    – Owed to Nature

  • Sheri Bawtinheimer
    Sheri Bawtinhe...over 3 years ago

    Fabulous!!
    Please consider adding this to the group entitled Beautiful BC

  • Thank You Sheri! Many thanks for your comments and invitation for your new group. I am and would be honored! ;-)
    –Sylvia

    – Owed to Nature

  • Sheri Bawtinheimer
    Sheri Bawtinhe...over 3 years ago

    Hi Sylvia, Thank you for entering your work. Welcome to Beautiful BC!!

  • More thanks to you Sheri for your warm welcome!

    – Owed to Nature

  • lgraham
    lgrahamover 3 years ago


    Congratulations and beautiful work!

  • With this being a new group that I’ve just recently joined, in a very short time I sure have come to love this group! ;-) I’m thrilled and so very much appreciate this Feature. Thank you very much!
    –Sylvia

    – Owed to Nature

  • Sue Ratcliffe
    Sue Ratcliffeover 3 years ago

    Congratulations! Featured August 27 2011. Great image!!!

  • THANK YOU Sue! Feel so fortunate to have seen this guy let alone get his picture. Send you heartfelt gratitude and good wishes for your grizzly trip!

    – Owed to Nature

  • Sue Ratcliffe
    Sue Ratcliffeover 3 years ago

    Great image!!! And inspiring….I’m heading to Bella Coola in BC in a couple of weeks to shoot grzzlies….hopefully I will get to see a bear as magnificent as this!

  • BC has such beautiful coastline. Loved the intimacy of all the inlets and turns in the shore. Never made it to Bella Coola but we started our sail just a bit further west in Bella Bella about the same time of year, mid to late September. Lovely time of year the and grizzlies were wonderful, splashing after the salmon, which generally had them so preoccupied they paid no mind to us and our cameras. ;-) Have an amazing holiday Sue!   …Sylvia

    – Owed to Nature

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