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Special Interest Forums => Ultimate Animal Lovers => Topic started by: Kiwithrottlejockey on August 18, 2011, 01:15:43 am

Title: This MAMA has a mind of her own
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on August 18, 2011, 01:15:43 am

Bear swimming in Navajo Lake seemed to have wanderlust

Mama was trapped four times near Albuquerque

By DALE RODEBAUGH - The Durango Herald | Tuesday, August 16, 2011

This mama bear has roamed the Southwest in the last nine years, starting out in Albuquerque. After being trapped and
relocated to the Zuni Mountains, she last showed up August 04 swimming with her cub on her back in Navajo Lake.
 — Photo: Courtesy of Mark Meier.

THE MAMA BEAR with cub in tow that an alert angler photographed August 04 swimming across Navajo Lake is one well-traveled ursine.

The bear was captured four times — and possibly five times — in less than a month in a rural residential area east of Albuquerque starting in October 2002, Dan Williams with the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish said Monday.

Each time she was relocated to a different place, Williams said, but she kept returning. The last release was in New Mexico's Zuni Mountains between Grants and Gallup and almost 200 miles from Navajo Lake.

"We hadn't heard about her since then, not until she turned up in Navajo Lake," Williams said.

Williams said the bear was fitted with a radio collar the first time she was captured.

"The collar was found on someone's porch," Williams said.

Theo Stein with Colorado Division Parks and Wildlife said bears have a range of 10 to 250 square-miles, depending on the quality of the habitat.

"We've seen bears return to familiar ground from 100 miles," Stein said.

Bears live an average of 10 years, Stein said. But they can live up to 30 years.

Patt Dorsey, area manager of Colorado Parks and Wildlife in Durango, said relocated bears can return quickly to their old stomping grounds.

"It's biologist humor, but when we relocate a bear we say, ‘If I look around I may see it passing me on the way back’."

In general, New Mexico is more tolerant than Colorado with problem bears, Williams said. A troublesome bear isn't put down until it has three strikes against it in New Mexico.

Williams said the state has euthanized 147 bears so far this year. Drought and wildfires have wiped out the natural food bears consume, he said.

http://www.durangoherald.com/article/20110816/NEWS01/708169928/Bear-swimming-in-Navajo-Lake-seemed-to-have-wanderlust (http://www.durangoherald.com/article/20110816/NEWS01/708169928/Bear-swimming-in-Navajo-Lake-seemed-to-have-wanderlust)