PAWS Magazine

Issue 40, Winter 1999

Bears released in the Cascades, Olympic Peninsula, and the Okanogan

The PAWS Wildlife Center’s bear cub population has been slowly shrinking over winter as Wildlife Center personnel have released six cubs into winter dens.

Two male cubs were released on the Olympic Peninsula December 15, followed two days later by a release of a male and female cub in the western Cascades. Two female cubs were slated to be released in the Okanogan area after this issue of PAWS News went to press.

Preparations for each release began six weeks before the actual release date, when the keepers began to cut back on the amount of food the bears were eating, and moved them into darkened indoor enclosures to induce hibernation. By the time of their release date, the bears were already hibernating.

Each of the bears had a radio transmitter surgically implanted into their abdomen, as well as a radio collar placed on their necks. As the bears grow, the collar will break off and the bears can continue to be tracked by the abdominal transmitter.

Harris Ford of Lynnwood donated the use of a new truck for the western Cascades release. Members of the Cascade Drifters Snowmobile club also pitched in by helping to transport the bears, volunteers, and straw the final two miles to the bears’ winter hibernation dens.

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