The hidden date for this stamp can be found below the bear's front paw.
This stamp contains a few security features that are visible on the stamp. First, the word Mailposte is micro-printed underneath the word "CANADA".
Second, the stamp's blue sky is printed with small bear images.
Third, the stamp's green grass is printed with small bear images.
Fourth, the number 8, the stamp's denomination, is hidden on the bear's back limb by rotating the patterned fur by 90 degrees.
Employing the same extraordinary technique used to create Canada's first postage stamp in 1851, Canada Post is proud to release a steel-engraved definitive issue depicting the grizzly bear - the first in a new series of high-value definitives featuring mammals of Canada. Priced at eight dollars, this issue is the highest-value stamp ever released by Canada Post. Beyond the superior aesthetic quality it delivers, steel engraving is used to prevent counterfeiting.
"We've taken every possible step to keep it from being an easy target for fraud", says design manager Georges de Passillé. "Steel engraving gives the stamp a classic look, and it's difficult to replicate the texture and exquisite detail you get from the thick ink and from the paper being pressed into the engraved lines during intaglio printing. Steel engraving is considered the epitome of the engraver' art, because the quality of the image and the fineness of the lines are so superior to those of softer metals, like zinc or copper. The value of this stamp doesn't come just from the denomination, but from the effort that went into creating it.", says de Passillé.
The Grizzly Bear issue is particularly attractive because of its unique elements. Reflecting the value of the stamp, the number 8 has been incorporated into the bear's rear right limb. In addition, the green grass below and the blue sky above have been crafted using tiny images of bears.
The grizzly bear is the mammal to be featured in this exceptional series. Weighing close to 400 kg, the grizzly has rightly been named "the monarch of the wilderness." Measuring 2.74 m, this majestic mammal ursos arctos is not only capable of killing a cow but also dragging it away! Yes the grizzly eats mostly plants. During peak feeding periods, this omnivore can consume as many as 200,000 berries a day, resulting in daily weight gains of a pound and a half. Until the late 1890s, grizzly were found as far east as Manitoba. Today, the Canadian grizzly population, estimated at between 22,000 and 28,000, is restricted to the Yukon, Northwest Territories, British Columbia and western parts of Alberta.