August 14, 2008

Grin and Bear It

Pop Quiz: Who belongs to the choppers you see below?

Still not sure of the answer? How about another clue. This one will probably give it away, though. Here's another, rather characteristic body part of the same animal:

Ok, that makes it easy. It is, in fact, a member of one of North America's most infamous (and wrongly so, I might add) inhabitants: Ursus arctos horribilis...the Grizzly. But this isn't just any grizzly. It happens to be the very first grizzly that Sonja got to help outfit with a radio collar!

Yesterday we were informed by one of my coworkers that a local biologist from the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks was going to be processing a young male grizzly they had captured in the Swan Range just to the south and east of the park. And wouldn't you know it? They had room for an extra hand to help out. So Sonja jumped at the opportunity and got to help outfit this bear with a radio collar.

No, the bear is not dead...just tranquilized. Sonja said these guys are really professional with how they treated the bear, handling it with the utmost care to ensure that it was not harmed at all by the experience. Unfortunately, Sonja wasn't able to join the team for its release back into the wild but the lead biologist did ask if she'd be interested in helping out with future captures.

She said yes.

Here's a short video of the bear in the capture cage just prior to it being poked in the butt with the tranquilizer.

That growl is pretty darn impressive for such a small grizzly!


kippur said...

That's fantastic. Sure a bear is dangerous, but nothing compares to the danger I faced while securing radio transmitters to Gopherus agassizii

Karen said...

So...somehow I had missed the memo on your new gig. Just to see how you were, I checked your blog and SURPRISE! You're in Montana! That's craziness! Congratulations and keep in touch!