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Alaska: Black bear kills teen runner during trail race near Anchorage

Wildlife

ADN.com

 June 18, 2017

A 16-year-old runner in a Bird Ridge mountain race was killed by a black bear he apparently encountered while descending the trail Sunday, Alaska State Troopers and the race director said.

A Chugach State Park ranger shot the bear in the face, but it ran away. Rangers and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game were still looking for the animal Sunday night on the slopeduring overlooking Turnagain Arm southeast of Anchorage.

The teenager, who has not been identified, was a participant in the juniors division of the Robert Spurr Memorial Hill Climb, said race director Brad Precosky. The close-knit Alaska mountain running community is in shock at the fatal mauling, he said.

“This is the worst thing that could happen,” he said.

The popular mountain race is in its 29th year. The steep course takes adult runners up Bird Ridge, a familiar mountain that looms over the Seward Highway at about Mile 100.

Racers descend at their leisure. Juniors race to the halfway point, about 1.5 miles from the start, before heading down.

The runner had apparently made it to the halfway point turnaround and was on his way down when he used his phone to text a family member at 12:37 p.m. that he was being chased by a bear, Precosky said. The family member approached Precosky, who was then in the middle of handing out awards.

“I went off and talked to him about it, trying to get a straight story,” Precosky said. “He was very shaken and had received this communication.”

A search was launched immediately, Precosky said. The family member had GPS coordinates from the missing runner’s phone that helped guide searchers to the area where his phone was. But the searchers, including runners that were part of the race, couldn’t get closer.

“The bear was remaining in the area where the young man was laying,” said Tom Crockett, a park ranger with Chugach State Park.

Related: 3 hikers injured by brown bear with cubs near Eagle River Campground

The runner was found about a mile from the trailhead about 500 yards off the trail in steep, heavily wooded terrain at about a 30-degree slope, Crockett said. It was not clear how the runner got off the trail, or if he had been chased by the bear to the spot.

A park ranger shot the bear in the face, Crockett said.

“It did definitely take a slug strike to the face when the ranger fired on it,” Crockett said. “We know he struck it.”

The black bear, estimated to be about 250 pounds, was alone, Crockett said. Rangers don’t know why it attacked the runner. They are trying to locate and kill the wounded animal.

https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/2017/06/18/searchers-looking-for-runner-in-bird-ridge-trail-race-who-reported-being-chased-by-bear/

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Alaska House opens new front in war over Denali wolves

Wildlife, Wolves

PNP comment: Alaska Board of Fish and Game understands better than most agencies why wolves need to be highly-managed with hunting and trapping. Why, you ask? Cuz they multiply faster than the wildlife animals that they need to kill and eat! Simple. Real life! — Editor Liz Bowen

ADN.com

Author: Nathaniel Herz

JUNEAU — The state Legislature opened a new front this week in a long-running war between supporters and opponents of wolf trapping near Denali National Park and Preserve — with sportsman’s advocates on one side and proponents of tourism and conservation on the other.

In one of its last actions of the regular legislative session, the Alaska House voted 22-18 on Wednesday to pass a bill that protects wolves from trappers in two areas adjoining the park — a move aimed at giving visitors more chances to see the animals, though it’s opposed by the state Board of Game. It also faces long odds in the Senate.

Wednesday’s vote came less than three months after the game board voted unanimously against a ban on hunting and trapping in a smaller area adjoining the park. And the House’s move drew a rebuke Thursday from the game board’s chair, Ted Spraker, whom the Legislature only confirmed Tuesday for a new three-year term.

“I say this humbly: This is board business,” Spraker said in a phone interview. “This is really not something the Legislature should get too involved in.”

House Bill 105 would create a 530-square-mile buffer zone northeast of the park where wolf hunting and certain traps and snares are banned.

The bill appeared to be dead on arrival in the state Senate, where two Republican members of the majority — John Coghill of North Pole and Cathy Giessel of Anchorage — issued a statement after HB 105’s passage, decrying the House’s “environmentalist agenda.”

The bill’s sponsor, Anchorage Democratic Rep. Andy Josephson, said he wanted to generate new dialogue about the issue. He argued that wolves are far more valuable as a draw for tourists into the park than for the people who trap them in the proposed buffer — estimated at no more than 10 by a lawmaker who represents the area, Rep. Dave Talerico, R-Healy.

Rep. Andy Josephson, D-Anchorage, center, talking to two other legislators in a file photo from 2016. (Marc Lester / Alaska Dispatch News)

Rep. Andy Josephson, D-Anchorage, center, talking to two other legislators in a file photo from 2016. (Marc Lester / Alaska Dispatch News)

A 2016 National Park Service study said that park visitors’ sightings of wolves were “significantly reduced” by nearby hunting or trapping, though sightings were largely determined by overall wolf populations and how close their dens were to roads. More than 400,000 people visit the park each year.

“The economic value of each wolf is far greater for the viewing audience than for that trapper. It’s not even a close contest,” Josephson said in an interview.

The fight over a no-kill zone has run for decades — mostly among game board members. The board established a buffer in 2000, but eliminated it in 2010. The unanimous February vote was the first time the board had considered it since then.

Supporters of wolf protections say that the Legislature is a better place for the debate because of the game board’s composition — though they’re also pushing Gov. Bill Walker’s administration to create a buffer through administrative action.

MORE

https://www.adn.com/politics/alaska-legislature/2017/05/18/alaska-house-approves-protections-near-denali-opening-new-front-in-long-running-war-over-wolves/

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Mountain lion killed after pouncing on California hunter who was mimicking rabbit call

CA & OR, Wildlife

Sac Bee.com

March 2, 2017

 A California coyote hunter found the roles of predator and prey reversed last week when a big cat pounced on him and he shot the cougar.

The incident occurred Friday near the northern shore of Mono Lake, between Yosemite National Park and the Nevada border.

The hunter, dressed in camouflage and lying on his belly, was blowing a call that mimicked a wounded rabbit in an effort to lure a hungry coyote, said Lt. Bill Dailey of the Department of Fish and Wildlife. The hunter spotted a flash of movement and looked over his shoulder just in time to watch a mountain lion leap toward his head.

He threw up his hands to protect his face, the animal struck, bounded away, and the hunter fired twice, killing the cat, Dailey said. The entire ordeal played out in mere moments.

“It happened extremely fast,” Dailey said. “He didn’t even have time to aim. … It was 100 percent instinctual. It wasn’t like he was premeditating this.”

The hunter, whose name has not been released, sustained a minor injury to his head, and went to an area hospital for rabies shots. He notified wildlife officers that he had killed a mountain lion, a species protected under state law. Following an investigation, wildlife officers determined he was justified in shooting the cougar “given the suddenness of the attack” and the “fear for his life.” He won’t be charged.

As for why the cougar pounced, investigators believe the cat likely mistook the hunter for the injured rabbit he was mimicking. Coyotes are legal to hunt year-round in California.

Read it here —

http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/environment/article136009078.html#storylink=cpy

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Santa Barbara defenders of wolves will give presentation to Siskiyou Supervisors on Dec. 6, 2016

Agriculture - California, cattle, Wildlife, Wolves

PNP comment: I doubt if any of their suggestions refer to the reduction of wolf numbers! We do not need wolves in Siskiyou County. There are plenty in other areas and in Canada. Wolves are not threatened or endangered with extinction. The species are thriving! WE have an over abundance of predators like mt. lions, bears, bobcats, foxes and coyotes. There isn’t enough wildlife to support the additional predator of wolves in Siskiyou County. — Editor Liz Bowen

From Dec. 6, 2016 Siskiyou County Board meeting agenda

10:15 A.M. – PUBLIC REQUESTS

A.            SISKIYOU COUNTY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL

Presentation of the annual Siskiyou County Tourism Improvement District report and progress to-date information.

B.            NATURAL RESOURCES/UC SANTA BARBARA-DEFENDERS OF WILDLIFE

Presentation of findings from a study aimed at helping livestock producers in Northern California to reduce the likelihood of conflicts with wolves.

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Beaver walks into Md. store, finds only artificial Christmas trees, and proceeds to trash it

Enjoy, Wildlife

The Washington Post

December 1 at 8:46 AM

In St. Mary’s County, Md., at least one badly behaved beaver is ready for holiday shopping.

The beaver was apprehended at a dollar store in Charlotte Hall, Md., the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement, apparently after browsing the selection of artificial Christmas trees and trashing the place.

(St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office)

(St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office)

The “suspect attempted to flee the area,” as the sheriff’s office put it in a statement, but it was apprehended by animal control and released to an animal rehabilitator — hopefully not just to be released into the wild, but to be taught basic shopping etiquette.

“All joking aside, the beaver was safely rescued by animal control and released to wildlife rehabilitation,” authorities tweeted.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/local/wp/2016/12/01/cute-beaver-trashes-store-after-holiday-shopping-in-maryland/?utm_term=.b93531328b47

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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A polar bear ‘petted’ a dog. Then a polar bear did what polar bears do: Ate a dog.

Wildlife

adn.net

Nov. 22, 2016

  • Author: Karin Brulliard, The Washington Post

A video of an enormous polar bear in Canada gingerly patting a chained sled dog hit the Internet last week and quickly went viral. The Huffington Post lauded its “cuteness factor.” The man who shot the video praised the bear for showing “that kind of heart toward another animal.”

But reality soon intervened. Canada’s CBC News reported that officials had removed three polar bears from the same property in Churchill after one killed and ate another dog. The owner of the site, who raises the sled dogs, told the network that the slaughter had occurred on “the only day we didn’t feed the f—king bears, the only night we didn’t put anything out.”

The irony of the two incidents spawned commentary on the perils of the attributing human emotions to animals and imposing a moral code the creatures can’t possibly be expected to live up to. They also renewed anger at the owner of the site, Brian Ladoon, who has long been a target of animal rights activists and conservationists who decry his chaining of dogs and luring of polar bears for tourist photo-ops.

Tom Smith views it all from somewhere in between. Smith is a wildlife biologist and advisory scientist with Polar Bears International, and he’s spent his career studying bears of all sorts – polar, grizzly and black. He chuckled when he viewed the “petting” video this week, which he didn’t exactly see as petting.

Bears have a sky-high “curiosity quotient” and tend to ask questions with their teeth and paws, which is why they sometimes tear up human campsites, he said. But he added that this is also a time of year when polar bears, who depend on sea ice for hunting seals, have essentially been starving for months.

MORE

https://www.adn.com/nation-world/2016/11/22/first-a-polar-bear-petted-a-dog-then-a-polar-bear-did-what-polar-bears-do-ate-a-dog/

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Montana hiker survives 2 attacks by the same bear, sheriff says

Wildlife

A hiker in Montana managed to survive a “Revenant”-style series of attacks — apparently by the same bear — and even drove himself to the hospital for treatment over the weekend, investigators said.

Todd Orr recorded video of himself after the mauling and posted it online. With gashes on his arms and blood streaming down his face, the 50-year-old survivor told the camera: “Yeah, life sucks in bear country… be safe out there.”

The first attack unfolded Saturday morning not far from the man’s home in Bozeman, Madison County Sheriff Roger Thompson confirmed. Orr said he unleashed bear spray and rolled into a ball to play dead as the bear chewed on him. He said it looked like a grizzly bear protecting two cubs.

The man headed back to the trailhead — but was attacked again. After the second attack, the bear wandered away and the man escaped.

“It’s like being struck by lightning twice in the same day; you don’t get attacked by the same bear in one day,” Thompson said. “I think he should go out and buy a lottery ticket now.”

Bleeding all over, Orr drove himself 17 miles to the Madison Valley Medical Center in Ennis. He called the sheriff’s office to report the attacks.

“He did everything he was supposed to do,” said Thompson. “He got a small fracture in his left forearm when the bear jumped on him.”

Despite the gruesome injuries, doctors say they expect Orr to survive.

The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks will determine what will happen to the bear, the Montana Standard reported.

In the Oscar-winning 2015 movie “The Revenant,” Leonardo DiCaprio’s character barely survives a mauling by a bear in the 19th century American wilderness.

Bozeman is about 90 miles southeast of Helena.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/10/03/montana-hiker-survives-2-attacks-by-same-bear-sheriff-says.html

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Alaska: Polar bears besiege Russian scientists at a remote Arctic post

Wildlife

Alaska Dispatch News

  • Author:Ishaan Tharoor, The Washington Post
  • Sept. 13, 2016

A team of Russian weather experts claim that their station on an ice-covered Arctic isle is “besieged” by polar bears, according to a report by Russian news agency TASS.

The five researchers charged with staffing the outpost on Troynoy Island say that there are about 10 adult polar bears as well as cubs circling their base. A female polar bear spends nights perched outside the station’s windows, making it dangerous for the scientists to exit. They have reportedly run out of flares and have lost at least one of their dogs to the bears.

The presence of the polar bears has made carrying out meteorological observations difficult, reports TASS. Russian law outlaws killing polar bears, a globally listed endangered species, so scientists in the Arctic are mostly equipped with flares and guns with rubber bullets.

Vassiliy Shevchenko, the head of the organization that maintains the weather stations, said a ship with provisions is making its way to Troynoy Island to bring aid — including dogs and more flare guns — to the beleaguered scientists. But it will arrive a month from now.

“Instructions were given to the Mikhail Somov expedition vessel that will reach the station in about a month,” Shevchenko is quoted as saying, “to deliver dogs, as one of the station’s canines was killed by a bear, and also flares and other pyrotechnical devices needed to scare the animals away.”

A polar bear walks along the beach in Kaktovik, Alaska. (ADN archive)

A polar bear walks along the beach in Kaktovik, Alaska. (ADN archive)

A similar episode took place just a year ago. Five hungry polar bears circled a Russian weather station on Vaygach island in Russia’s far north, preventing its staff from taking sea readings.

“They sleep near the houses. Two of them walk together. They are aggressive. Recently they fought together near our house,” one scientist was quoted saying by the Siberian Times.

The scientist described the terror involved in carrying out her daily work: “So we go, your head rotating 360 degrees. Yesterday we came out and a bear was near the house. Three times our engineer fired a small flare pistol, and the bear was not even scared. We managed to scare it off with a flare, but not far.”

MORE

http://www.adn.com/nation-world/2016/09/13/polar-bears-besiege-russian-scientists-at-a-remote-arctic-post/

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Alaska: Forest Service workers kill charging brown bear near Sitka

Wildlife

Alaska Dispatch News

Sept. 13, 2016

U.S. Forest Service officials say two employees used a service weapon to fatally shoot a charging brown bear near Sitka last month, the area’s third such attack by a sow in August.

Sitka radio station KCAW first reported the Aug. 27 incident, along Appleton Creek on Chichagof Island roughly 30 miles north of Sitka.

The shooting occurred just 10 miles from the Sitkoh Island Trail, where two UnCruise Adventures employees guiding a group of 22 cruise-ship passengers on a hike were mauled Aug. 18.

Sitka Ranger District chief Perry Edwards said Tuesday that the Appleton Creek shooting closed out a month that also saw another brown bear sow killed, in an Aug. 7 encounter near Nawaksina Sound. During that incident, reported by the Daily Sitka Sentinel, hiker Don Kluting said he had to fire multiple rounds from a .44 Magnum handgun to stop the bear just feet before it reached him and a companion.

Edwards said the identities of the two men involved in the Aug. 27 incident, who were checking fish passes farther up the creek, weren’t being released. They were carrying a large-caliber .375 H&H Magnum rifle, supplied by the Forest Service specifically for bear defense.

“This is what we train people on; this is what we certify people on,” Edwards said. “If you need to go to a lethal means, you don’t want to undershoot a bear.”

Hunters handling bear carcasses in the area often find wounds from other firearms that the animals had survived, Edwards said. As a result, the Forest Service certifies its field staff to fire three shots in 10 seconds against a bear at varying distances, with strict requirements for accuracy.

“Two of the three shots have to be in vital places on the bear,” Edwards said.

On Aug. 27, Edwards said the men were moving through the area, scanning the woods for bear activity, when they saw the sow roughly 50 yards away. The bear immediately ran into foliage on its way to the men, who were able to anticipate where it would emerge as one of them prepared to fire.

When it did emerge, Edwards said the men had very little time to react.

“When that bear came out of the brush it was about 30 feet away,” Edwards said. “From the moment (they saw the sow) to the first shot they fired at this bear, they estimated it at four seconds.”

More-

http://www.adn.com/alaska-news/wildlife/2016/09/13/forest-service-workers-kill-charging-brown-bear-near-sitka/

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

 

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Utah increases cougar hunt quota despite criticism

Wildlife

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah wildlife officials will allow more cougars to be hunted this season due to an increase in attacks on farm animals and indications the animal’s population is doing well in the state.

The decision last week by the Utah Wildlife Board to increase the number of cougars that can be hunted to 522 — up by about 5 percent from last year.

That triggered backlash from the Humane Society, which argues the increase is unnecessary and nothing more than a way to appease trophy hunters.

Leslie McFarland, mammals program coordinator for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, says the yearly cougar hunting quota ebbs and flows by year based on research about the animal’s population and data about livestock killed.

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/765689178/Utah-increases-cougar-hunt-quota-despite-criticism.html

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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