Grizzly Sows Swap Cub in Grand Teton National Park

courtesy of the National Parks Traveler
by Kurt Repanshek

In an unusual, but apparently not unprecedented, move in wildlife behavior, two grizzly sows in Grand Teton National Park have swapped a cub. Making the swap even more curious is that the sows involved are themselves mother and daughter.

The cub swapping was detected last week when those monitoring the park’s grizzlies compared notes. According to park officials, the swapping was between 15-year-old grizzly No. 399, a prodigous sow when it comes to bearing triplets, and one of her daughters, 5-year No. 610.

No. 399 had given birth to three cubs this past winter. During the spring and into the summer she traveled with her young trio through much the same home range that she has maintained in recent years.

No. 610, who has a home range that overlaps with No. 399, meanwhile, had twins during the winter.

“The apparent adoption of a single cub occurred on or about July 21; the noteworthy event was confirmed by observations of No. 610 traveling with three cubs in the Willow Flats area of Grand Teton National Park, and later observations of No. 399 with just two cubs in an area further north of Willow Flats,” a park release said. “Biologists are not sure what caused the exchange of offspring, or whether this will be a temporary or permanent situation. However, these observations offer a fascinating glimpse into bear behavior.

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5 Bad-News Grizzly Bears Plague the Town of Salcha

courtesy of Anchorage Daily News
by Mary Pemberton

A potentially dangerous situation is brewing in the community of Salcha, where two mother grizzly bears are roaming the community, looking for food and getting into trouble.

What bear wouldn’t tear into a car for the groceries inside? Or pass up a freezer on a deck filled with goodies?

Art Thompson Jr., owner of the Salchaket Roadhouse, said Friday that the bears have been around for about a month looking for food in the community about 30 miles southeast of Fairbanks. He’s been taking garbage to the dump every day to keep the back of the roadhouse clean and bear-free.

The bears are pretty much going house to house in the community of about 1,000 people where Fairbanks-area residents have weekend homes, he said.

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Biologist Shoots Motherless Bear Cubs; Neighbors Upset

courtesy of Anchorage Daily News
by Casey Grove

A state wildlife biologist shot and killed two orphaned black bear cubs Wednesday on the Anchorage Hillside, upsetting some residents of the neighborhood.

The cubs’ mother was killed about three weeks ago when a resident shot the animal to protect his property, said Jessy Coltrane, Anchorage area biologist with the Department of Fish and Game. Without their mother, the cubs would have eventually been killed by another bear or died of starvation, Coltrane said.

“The most humane thing is to put them down,” she said. “It is hands-down the least favorite part of my job.”

Coltrane received numerous phone calls about the cubs in the weeks after the sow’s death, she said. But the calls always came in too late to provide accurate information on the cubs’ whereabouts. Then, Wednesday morning, Coltrane said, a caller reported the cubs were in a tree near his house in a subdivision south of Rabbit Creek Road and above Golden View Drive.

“Unfortunately, because black bears are very common in the Lower 48 and up here, there’s not a lot of facilities that want them,” Coltrane said. Any facilities that might have taken the cubs were already full, she said.

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