Kermode Spirit Bear trail of the north welcomes you

Terrace adds some 'Spirit' to its out-of-town welcome

The Kermode Spirit Bear welcomes visitors to the north.

The Kermode Spirit Bear welcomes visitors to the north.

According to a First Nations legend, the Raven changed the earth from white snow to green forest. But he wanted a reminder of how the world once was so he made every tenth bear white and declared they would forever live in peace. The scientific explanation for the white Kermode bear’s colouring is a little different – two black bears with recessive white genes pass them to their offspring. Kermode bears, otherwise known as Spirit Bears, do exist, however. The bears are unique to the rainforests of northern British Columbia and are the official mark of the City of Terrace, and more recently the province as well. Many tourists are drawn here in hopes of catching a glimpse of one of these magnificent creatures. But sightings are rare – until now. As of last year, nine Spirit Bears can be found in various locations around the city, although they are very different than those in the wild. These bears are colourful pieces of art – life-size Kermode replicas, made of fiberglass and weighing about 120 pounds. Each one was uniquely designed and painted by a local artist. The statues were part of a B.C. Lions society campaign to raise money for disabled children and were auctioned off last fall. Various organizations and individuals sponsored each bear. While driving around town, keep your eye out for the eleven new friends. The Spirit Bears in Terrace are located at the airport, City Hall, the Northern Motor Inn, the Coast Inn of the West, Terrace Chrysler, Boston Pizza, in front of Scotia Bank, and at the medical building at 4634 Park Ave. One is also on the Grand Trunk Millenium Pathway on Hwy 16. And don’t worry – these bears are friendly.