Further Documentation Supporting the Former Existence of Grizzly Bears (<i>Ursus arctos</i>) in Northern Quebec-Labrador

  • Stephen Loring
  • Arthur Spiess
Keywords: Labrador, barren-ground grizzly bear, Ursus arctos, Innu, William Brooks Cabot, Lucien Turner, William Duncan Strong


The discovery in 1976 of a grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) skull in an 18th-century Labrador Inuit midden effectively ended speculation about the former existence of the species in the barrenlands of northern Quebec and Labrador. We analyzed a photograph of a bear skull taken in 1910 at an Innu camp in the Labrador interior (east of the George River), which appears to be that of a grizzly bear. Coupled with previously unpublished historical accounts by Lucien Turner (Smithsonian naturalist in northern Quebec, 1881–83) and William Duncan Strong (anthropologist in Labrador, 1928–29), Innu oral history accounts, and archaeological evidence, this photograph further substantiates the theory that a small number of grizzly bears were present in the Quebec-Labrador peninsula and survived into the 20th century.