Monday, April 8, 2013

Grizzly Bear - Ghosts of Colorado

Grizzly Bear

The grizzly bear is North America's most fearsome predator. Grizzlies once thrived in Western Colorado before white settlers and trappers arrived. By the late 19th century the bears were terrorizing rancher's livestock and threatening to impede civilized progress. A government-funded program was initiated to exterminate the perceived nuisance. After a massive assault, the last grizzly in Colorado was snared and killed by a federal trapper in 1952.

Ursus arctos horribilis was assumed to no longer inhabit the state. Then, in the fall of 1979, a lone grizzly attacked a hunting guide near Pagosa Springs. The controversial account of what happened ends with the bear being killed in self-defense. Some people believe a tiny sleuth of grizzlies still inhabit a remote pocket of the South San Juan Wilderness. David Peterson, area resident and author of "Ghost Grizzlies" laments they are probably gone:

"If there are any grizzly bears left in Colorado, I hope nobody finds them. Just let them live what's left of their lives in peace."

15 comments:

  1. This is one of the worst horror stories I have ever read, I heard somewhere that the last whale on earth will make someone a lot of money :(. On a positive note, Wolves which have not existed in Denmark for a long time, have made a return this year to the west coast.

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    1. clearly (hopefully) I mean the last bear being killed (twice) is a horror story ... not the way you told it - that was sheer brilliance :)

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    2. Thanks, it is a sad story, some believe there might be a few left in a remote part of Colorado but the odds are against it.

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  2. we studied bears a while back, they are fascinating subjects!

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    1. They are fascinating, we have a lot of black bears in the state but the grizzlies are gone.

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  3. A group of bears is called a "sleuth"?! I learn something new from A to Z bloggers every day!

    And "Ursus arctos horribilis" sounds like a monster from a sci-fi movie...

    Ruby is participating in the A to Z Challenge
    Ruby Wilbur

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    1. In the old days people considered them monsters. They accused the grizzlies of terrorizing rancher's livestock. One of the main reasons they wanted to get rid of them.

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  4. Been reading and rereading "The World Without Us" - what life on the planet would be like if humans suddenly disappeared for whatever reasons, and how that would affect different continents, places, buildings... Your grizzly story kinda reminds me of that... maybe all the grizzly bears would come back to Colorado.

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    1. If people disappeared suddenly, I'm sure they would come back. It's the perfect habitat for them.

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  5. It's sad that we can't find a way to live and let live. Robbing natural habitats is bad enough without senseless ruin. Sad story. Will Alaska and Yellowstone be the only place for them now? Breaks my heart.

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    1. You're exactly right. If we want to see grizzlies in the wild, we have to drive 10 hours north to Yellowstone.

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  6. I'm so glad we don't have bears in Australia! I don't think I'd want to come face to face with one.

    Very sad that they have been wiped out though. :(

    Rinelle Grey

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    1. They're awesome creatures but they can be extremely dangerous to humans. I'd love to see one in the wild but from a distance, not face to face.

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  7. Bears are such fascinating creatures, I like them, and wish we could all find a way to live happily along side one another.

    Interesting post, thank you.

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    1. They are fascinating, we see black bears around but the people of Colorado just couldn't learn how to live with the grizzlies.

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