Dancing Bears Filmed in Wild

Friday, April 04, 2008
By Jeanna Bryner

 Grizzly bears are getting their groove on, and new hidden cameras are giving scientists a window into the secret lives of these dancing bears.

This is no circus act. Between 2005 and 2007, Kate Kendall of the U.S. Geological Survey and her colleagues took video footage of black and grizzly bears doing what looks like the go-go at their favorite “rub trees.”

They also got film of bears lumbering beneath stretches of barbed wire used to snag hair samples. 

The research is part of a larger study to estimate the population size and distribution of bears in northwestern Montana using genetic analyses of the bears’ hair samples.

Scientists think bears shimmy their backs against trees in a kind of bump-and-grind to scratch hard-to-reach spots and to communicate their presence to other Ursus kin.

“It’s probably primarily a form of chemical communication,” Kendall said. “Often bears will sniff the trees before and after they rub on them.”

Post continues here as well as related stories [ Full Story ]

Hunter’s Photos Ignite New Debate Over Bigfoot’s Existence

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

 Could this really be Bigfoot?  The link to the additional pictures really present questions of what this is a picture of.  Very interesting to say the least. 

RIDGWAY, Pa. —  A hunter out to photograph deer last month has reignited the Sasquatch debate with a photograph of a small furry animal walking on all fours.

Rick Jacobs said he took this photograph with a camera using an automatic trigger inthe Allegheny National Forest, about 115 miles north of Pittsburgh, hoping to capture deer. But his image has only managed to spark further debate about the existence of bigfoot.

Click here to see photographs of the creature alongside photos of bear cubs.

“We couldn’t figure out what they were,” Jacobs said of the images captured on Sept. 16. “I’ve been hunting for years and I’ve never seen anything like this.”

He contacted the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization, which pursues reports of a legendary two-legged creature that some people believe lives in parts of the U.S. and Canada.

“It appears to be a primate-like animal. In my opinion, it appears to be a juvenile Sasquatch,” said Paul Majeta of the bigfoot group.

However, the Pennsylvania Game Commission has a more conventional opinion. Agency spokesman Jerry Feaser said conservation officers routinely trap bears to be tagged and often see animals that look like the photos.

“There is no question it is a bear with a severe case of mange,” Feaser told The Bradford Era.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

At Least 220 Homes Destroyed as High Winds Stoke Lake Tahoe Wildfire

Monday, June 25, 2007-At Least 220 Homes Destroyed as High Winds Stoke Lake Tahoe Wildfire

MEYERS, Calif. — Firefighters launched an aggressive attack Monday to corral a raging forest fire near the popular resort of Lake Tahoe that has destroyed at least 220 homes and forced about 1,000 people to flee neighborhoods along the Lake’s southern edge.

When I initially heard about this at 6am today 165 homes  reported destroyed.  In this short period of time fire has engulfed anoter 55 more homes.

The fire, believed to be caused by human activity, was approaching 2,500 acres — nearly 4 square miles — and was less than 10 percent contained, said Lt. Kevin House of the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department. No injuries were reported.

“This is far and above the biggest disaster that has happened in this community, I don’t know, probably in forever,” House told reporters in an early morning briefing.

For the complete story click here

Bear That Killed 11-Year-Old Boy After Dragging Him From Tent Caught

Monday, June 18, 2007

AMERICAN FORK, Utah  —  Wildlife officers wounded a bear Monday, hours after an 11-year-old boy was snatched from his family’s tent and killed, a rare fatal attack in Utah’s Wasatch Mountains.

With 26 dogs assisting them in the search, authorities were confident that the bear that was shot was the same one that ripped through the tent shortly before midnight Sunday.

“The dogs are on the scent. … We’re hopeful this bear will be taken shortly,” Jim Karpowitz, director of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, said at an 11 a.m. MDT news conference.

The boy, his mother, stepfather and a 6-year-old brother were sleeping in a large tent in a primitive camping area, about 30 miles southeast of Salt Lake City.

The stepfather heard a scream, and the boy and his sleeping bag were gone. A host from a nearby campground contacted police.

“When we got up there we realized, hey, this looks like a bear. The sleeping bag was pulled out of the tent,” said Lt. Dennis Harris of the Utah County sheriff’s office.

He said the boy’s body was found about 400 yards away, in the direction of another campsite where a bear was seen earlier in the weekend and pursued by dogs without success. Authorities believe it was the same bear that killed the boy.

“When it’s hot and dry like this, bears are short of food,” Karpowitz said.

The Utah wildlife agency and the U.S. Forest Service were pursuing the wounded bear with the help of a helicopter. It was described as a male, possibly 300 pounds and “jet black.”

Karpowitz said it was the first fatal attack by a black bear in Utah.

American Fork Canyon is a popular camping destination and home to Timpanogos Cave National Monument. Harris said the family was camping about two miles up a dirt road.

“It’s shaken everybody up. We’re all distraught,” said Scott Root, conservation outreach manager at the Utah wildlife agency. “It could put a lot of fear in the public.”

It was not known what provoked the bear, though a bear can smell food for miles.

“They stick their nose in the air. It’s like radar,” said Hal Black, a biologist at Brigham Young University in Provo.

In July 2006, a black bear bit the arm of a 14-year-old Boy Scout while he slept in a tent, also in Utah County. The female bear returned to the campground and was killed. The boy was not seriously injured.