A tranquilized brown bear (Ursus arctos) creates a problem for Alaska Department of Fish and Game wildlife researchers. They darted a 16-year-old male in Kingsburg Creek tributary of the Unuk River while studying the grizzly bear range and habitat in southeast Alaska near the Canadian border.
The 600-pound males slipped down the edge of a muddy embankment and was too heavy to move. With only a short time to work before the bear is revived, the two men took their research notes and then quickly built the bear a nest of branches so he wouldn’t fall into the creek upon waking.
Brown bears decline in the range and numbers in the lower 48 states heightened management concern in habitat-related studies. It is believed that brown bears avoid clearcuts and are more often found in riparian old growth, wetlands, and alpine/subalpine habitat because of more nutritious foraging and better cover.
- MELISSA FARLOW
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- Tongass National Geographic Magazine MM7258