When I first came across a picture of "Nakoda" I was thoroughly confused.

My immediate thought was "Why is a Polar Bear somewhere where there are Pine Trees?"

When I read the text beneath the picture it was revealed to me that this was NOT a Polar Bear at all, but a rare White Grizzly Bear.

This bear can be identified as a Grizzly Bear not just because of its location (Banff, Canada), but because of the large hump near its shoulders and long claws.

"Nakoda" was named through a poll on the Bow Valley Network Facebook page.

Nakoda is a name originally from the Indigenous people of Banff. The name means ‘Friend’ or ‘Ally’ in the native language of the three aboriginal tribes of the area—Bearspaw, Chiniki, and Wesley.

This area of Canada is a popular tourist destination, with an estimated 4 million visitors per year.

That means that "Nakoda" is showing up in a lot of personal feeds, which has led to her becoming a viral internet sensation. Rimrock Resort shared this video, and it immediately had thousands of views.




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  I guess it’s safe to say, the bears are BACK! 🐻 #RimrockResort #TheBearsAreBack   A post shared by The Rimrock Resort Hotel (@rimrockresort) on

"Nakoda's" internet popularity has begun to concern local biologists and park staff.

They are afraid that tourists will be actively seeking out "Nakoda" for photo opportunities and end up causing her harm, or put themselves in danger in the process.

In this article, they mentioned a few rules they'd like everyone visiting the area to follow.

  • Do not seek out the bear,
  • If you see "Nakoda" give her space.
  • Please be aware that pulling over on the side of the highway is not recommended
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