Once Upon A Wolvog

Stories from the front lines

Pizzlies and grolars are real?!

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In the third novel of the MaddAddam trilogy, we finally get a look into the life of the mysterious Zeb. We learn that he worked for Bearlift which basically consisted of bringing our leftovers to the polar bears because they were starving due to the ice being almost gone and their inability to catch seals. However, we also learn that many polar bears had started moving southward so as not to die of starvation. As a result of this, many of them had started to mate with grizzlies, creating new predators with unpredictable temperaments: the pizzlies and the grolars.

So, this got me thinking about what’s really going on with the polar bears up north and have they truly started moving south due to the melting ice caps and lack of food? Well, I was saddened and slightly frightened to learn that, yes, almost everything about this fiction novel’s description of the future of polar bears is accurate or could soon become a reality.

Firstly, mostly due to global warming, it is getting more and more difficult for them to hunt their primary food source, seals, because bears are now facing longer periods without sea ice which they are dependant on to hunt. The hope was that, when food was scarce, they would slow down their metabolism levels as they do in hibernation. However, research has shown that they could not maintain their body weight and improve their chances of survival in these conditions.

grizlz

So, as in the novel, polar bears have started to migrate south. This is problematic for several reasons, one of them being the need for them to find alternative sources of food. The most likely substitute will be to eat different plants. But, because they are used to eating seal blubber, their teeth are not adapted to the consumption of vegetation. To add to this, they would increasingly come into competition with grizzly bears for food in their new environment.

Then, if they don’t compete with grizzlies, it is possible for them to mate. In fact, pizzlies and grolars are no longer fiction. In several instances, these crossbreeds were seen in Alaska and Canada. All hybrids that have been analyzed so far were found to have grizzly fathers and polar bears mothers. This is due to males roaming to establish territory and females not straying far from their home ranges.

Pizzlies

So, how will this polar bear migration affect our ecosystem and should we fear the potentially growing population of pizzlies and grolars?

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3 thoughts on “Pizzlies and grolars are real?!

  1. This is so sad!! I’ve come to realize through these 3 novels that things that Atwood describes are not so unrealistic when we take an actual look at our world and how quickly it is literally deteriorating. This is something that I have never heard of which brings up another sense of fear; the fact that we are not being enlightened through the media about things that actually matter, and things that may actually have an impact on us. But instead the news, which should be considered a solid and educated form of information, feeds us stories that really do not have a large impact on anything in our lives, tonight while watching the news I saw a video of a horse and a crocodile chasing each other, meanwhile they’re are issues that are far more pressing that we are being kept away from. Absolutely discouraging.

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  2. Yet another reason to hate global warming! In response to your question, I’d say that the hybrids themselves probably aren’t a huge threat to humans. I doubt that they’d be as violent as they were described in the book. They would be an issue if they migrate so far south that they start to invade cities. In reality, I think that this hybridization is particularly bad because there’s a fair chance that they’re better adapted than the original species to our changing environment. So, not only will the polar bears have to compete with grizzlies, both of them will have to compete with a superior hybrid, which might just accelerate the native species extinction. You definitely bring up an important issue, and I hope that our world doesn’t descend to “bear lift” types of solutions, which aren’t really solutions at all.

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  3. Interesting read, and frightening to say the least. Bearlift’s implementation reflects the society depicted in the Maddaddam Trilogy quite well, in that people don’t want to face any responsibility for the negative consequences of their consumption, and would rather think of it as something that’s inevitable, with the added bonus of “we’re helping by giving them our waste!”. Unfortunately, this is something that isn’t mutual exclusive between the Maddaddam world and our world. It would be far easier for people to continue as they are, ignoring possible solutions to global warming and its environmental impact. Atwood hit the nail on the head in with this section, especially driving in the proposed altruistic aspect of giving them our waste, when in reality our waste/consumption is exactly what’s killing them off in the first place.

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