September 17, 2011

Grizzly Bear a menace to lake-going folk


See those lines there? Yes that's the movement of one Grizzly bear who's apparently the Michael Phelps of Flathead Lake. Good god.

Could it be webbed claws? Or maybe an ancient connection to a Labrador bloodline?

In any case, a young grizzly bear has demonstrated Olympian swimming skills on Flathead Lake, proved with GPS data from a satellite collar that was recovered Monday near the town of Swan Lake.

The 4-year-old female was trapped in June 2010 as a management bear because of her proximity to the Flathead Lake Lutheran Camp south of Lakeside. It was an unusual place for her to show up, well outside established grizzly bear habitat.

“We thought that because we don’t have bears very often on the west side of the lake that we would put a collar on her,” said Rick Mace, a research biologist with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks in Kalispell.

A decision was also made to relocate her to a remote area near Blacktail Mountain west of Lakeside, because after all, that was an area she naturally migrated to. It didn’t take long for the bear to make her way back to the lake, this time wandering south to the Rollins area.

“She spent most of 2010 on that side and then during Labor Day weekend of last year is when she started her aquatic activities,” Mace said. Aquatic activities, indeed.


Wait? Bears can swim? I'm out.

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