Bergmans Bear

Distinct variety or subspecies of brown Bear of East Asia.

Physical description: Black. Short fur. Exceedingly large. Weight, 1,100-2,500 pounds. Large skull.

Tracks: Size, 14.5 inches by 10 inches.

Distribution: Southern Kamchatka Peninsula, Siberia.

Present status: This giant variety is likely extinct. The last known specimen, a pelt from Ust'-Kamchatsk, was examined by Swedish zoologist Sten Bergman in 1920.

Possible explanation: Brown bears (Ursus arctos) vary considerably in appearance; this may just have been a regional variant of the Siberian brown bear (U. a. beringianus) rather than a subspecies.

Sources: Sten Bergman, "Observations on the Kamchatkan Bear," Journal of Mammalogy 17 (1936): 115-120; Terry Domico, Bears of the World (New York: Facts on File, 1988), pp. 50-51; Igor A. Revenko, "Status and Distribution of Brown Bears in Kamchatka, Russian Far East," Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Bear Research and Management, Fairbanks, Alaska, 1995; Andrew D. Gable, "Bergman's Bear," December 19, 2000, cryptids/go dbear.php.

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