Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Hillspring Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre Released 4 Grizzly Cubs-Dawon Creek, BC

Following is an extract from a website update written by Barb Murray at http://bearmatters.com.

History was ‘officially’ made on Weds, May 16, 2007! A North American bear rehabilitor, Leona Green, has successfully raised 4 orphaned grizzly cubs (2 female), taking them from 15-20lbs in July ‘06 to their release weight of well in excess of 100lbs. The bigger size for their age class will give the cub’s a fighting chance with preditory carnivores. The cub’s diet consisted of high protein from donated venison and salmon, grains, veggies and fruit ( including natural berries previously picked and frozen). Leona Green has raised and released two female grizzlies in 1996 but they were not officially counted by the authorities at that time.

Grizzly bear rehabilitation is done in other parts of the world like Russia and Romania but North American authorities have been shy to embrace it for ‘liablity’ reasons ( I believe?). Thanks to some progressive and compassionate Conservation Officers in Northern BC Leona Green was able to help give these four cubs plus two black bears a second chance this year. She has now rehabbed over 100 bears successfully over 30years (not one of the bears have shown up and caused problems).

Girl Scout's become Bear Aware

On a cool weekend in April, a hardy bunch of Girl Scouts (250 of them) gathered in Carnation, WA for their annual encampment event. They built rain shelters, canoed the lake, created works of art and performed skits around the campfire. A highlight was the retiring of an American flag in a special ceremony.

GBOP’s own Julie Hayes lead forest nature hikes for the Brownies, the Junior campers and their parents. Bear safety and biology were on topic, and many thoughtful questions were asked by campers and parents alike. As it turns out, many of the families had experienced some bear activity (mostly in garbage cans) in their neighborhoods. GBOP brochures packed full of useful information on safe camping, hiking and home sanitation were passed out to extend the learning at home.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Bear Affair Weekend

Woodland Park Zoo and GBOP hosted what is quickly becoming an annual event anticipated by both patrons of the zoo and the bears that live there. Keema and Denali, both 950 pound Brown (Grizzly) Bears put on quite a show. With donated equipment from REI, the zoo staff, GBOP and invited members of the public set up a campsite in the bear compound. Everything was done incorrectly to demonstrate what bears can do to your camp if you leave food nearby or worse yet, in your tent.

The bears went thru the camp systematically looking for and finding all of the hidden treats.

In about the same time as it takes to set up camp, the bears had completely demolished everything. People watching the camp destruction quickly understood the value of setting up a proper camp.

Over 2,000 people visited the Bear Affair activities. Everyone enjoyed themselves, but no one had as much fun as Keema and Denali. You can check out a You Tube video of the event at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CARM1-ZQYb4.

The GBOP website has lots of tips for living and camping in bear country: http://www.bearinfo.org/tips.htm.

Photo credits by Dennis Ryan and Wendy Gardner

Back Country Horsemen Spring Ride

Each spring members of the Back Country Horsemen of Washington get together at Beaver Creek campground in the Methow Valley to spend a weekend of riding, socializing and general togetherness. This year was no exception. Over 300 folks camped out and had a great time. The official Saturday ride attracted 270 horses and their riders for an eleven mile round trip. A stop at the midway point allowed horses to rest and riders to enjoy a catered steak dinner hosted by the Methow Chapter of the BCH. There are 36 chapters with over 3,000 members in Washington State.

After the ride the care of the horses are the top priority. Kids learn this at an early age. The event was also an opportunity for GBOP to hand out material and discuss bear safety in the back country. If you spend much time in the woods you are likely to encounter bears sooner or later. Back Country Horsepeople share the wilderness that bears call home. The proper safety tips can mean the difference between a fun bear experience and a person-bear conflict.

Looking back on the weekend most of use can't wait till next year.

First Tuesday Presentation

The Methow Conservancy invited GBOP to give a presentation entitled "Bears of the North Cascades and Beyond" at their April First Tuesday event held at the Twisp River Pub. The house was packed as the lights went down and Mary Kiesau introduced Chris Morgan and Dennis Ryan from GBOP.

Chris shared his experiences traveling the world to study bears. From Norway to the Andes, Pakistan to the Rocky Mountains, the audience took a virtual tour of the global state that bears find themselves in today's gloal warming trend.

Dennis followed that act up with a discussion of bears of the North Cascade Ecosystem. Do they indeed exist? What are their numbers, habits and habitat? How can this habitat be protected and the declining number of North Cascade Grizzlies be recovered to a viable population?

A hearty discussion followed the presentation. Obvisouly the public was informed and intested in the plight of Washington's bear population. Many thanks to the Methow Conservancy for hosting the presentation.

Wildlife Highway Crossings

Hidden cameras let you spy on animals as they go about their business.

Dr. Tony Clevenger of the Western Transportation Institute at Montana State University has research video cameras that record the passage of a variety of large mammals using Banff National Park’s wildlife crossing structures under the TransCanada Highway. To view video clips of grizzly bear, black bear, mountain lion, elk and deer go to this website:


The Washington Department of Transportation has future plans to build wildlife under passes on I-90 in the North Cascades area.