Thursday, August 18, 2011

Wyoming grizzly cubs coming to the Cleveland Zoo

Two Cody area grizzly bear cubs are on a journey to the Cleveland Metro Parks Zoo.

The male and female cubs of the year, were orphaned after their mother was euthanized when she became a chronic problem bear to residents living in the Lower South Fork Shoshone River valley.

“The mother bear had been captured in the same general area for bad behavior in October 2006 and was subsequently relocated to the Caribou-Targhee National Forest 90 miles away.

Within 27 days of her relocation, she returned to the same general area and was trapped and moved again for causing property damage,” said Mark Bruscino, bear biologist for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.

“This spring, several South Fork residents reported a sow with cubs of the year in the area and she had obtained several food rewards. Although we tried to capture her our attempts were unsuccessful until Aug. 7, 2011,” Bruscino said.

Under the federal nuisance grizzly bear guidelines, a female grizzly that becomes a chronic problem and is captured three times as a result of her behavior may be removed from the population, but only after consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

According to Bruscino, the young of the year cubs are very healthy, both weighing approximately 50 pounds each. They will be the main attraction of the grizzly bear display at the Cleveland Zoo.

Grizzly bears currently inhabit most of the suitable habitat in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The Yellowstone population continues to grow at a rate of 4 to 6 percent each year.

The most recent population estimate of grizzlies in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is 601 bears.

Bruscino said that to date, the Game and Fish has responded to approximately 80 human-bear conflicts which resulted in seven grizzly bear relocations and three bear management removals. “So far, this has been a pretty normal bear conflict year,” said Bruscino.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn


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