Archive for May, 2018

Lions and Black Bears and Grizzly’s Oh My!

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018

A government wildlife worker who recently landed her dream job researching grizzly bears in a Montana mountain range is recovering from a bear attack that left her with a fractured skull and other serious injuries.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seasonal field assistant Amber Kornak was attacked on May 17 while working alone near a stream in the Cabinet Mountains, agency spokeswoman Jennifer Strickland said.

While being mauled, the 28-year-old Kornak managed to reach a canister of Mace-like bear spray and ended the attack, inadvertently spraying herself in the process.

She then walked to her work vehicle and drove to find help, according to Strickland.

Working with grizzlies had been a longstanding career goal for Kornak, who is recovering at a hospital in Kalispell following surgery for the skull injury and from severe cuts to her head, neck and back, said Jenna Hemer, a friend who spoke with Kornak following the attack.

“She’s obviously passionate about all wildlife, but her dream and her primary focus was to work with grizzly bears,” Hemer said. “Last I spoke with her was yesterday and she’s making great strides but it’s going to be a long recovery.”

Kornak was working at the time of the attack on a genetic study that requires collecting grizzly hair samples. The hairs can be found on trees or other objects that grizzlies rub against, and are used to analyze the animals’ DNA.

Officials speculated that noise from nearby Poorman Creek may have allowed the animal to close in on Kornak without her noticing.

She was apparently following the right protocols for working in grizzly bear country, including carrying bear spray and a satellite communication device that she used to call 911 just after the mauling, Strickland said.

There is no formal rule about government workers travelling alone in bear country, Strickland said. But experts say traveling in groups of three or more dramatically decreases the chance of an attack.

The Cabinet Mountains are home to an estimated 50 grizzlies, protected across the region as a threatened species under federal law. The range also has black bears, typically a less aggressive species.

Officials have not said which type was responsible for the attack that remains under investigation by Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks.

Bears Gone Wild Cougars Killing Mountain Bikers? What’s going On?

Saturday, May 19th, 2018

 Authorities say one person was killed and another injured in a cougar attack in North Bend, Washington, CBS affiliate KIRO-TVreports. The two victims were mountain biking in the area when the incident took place around 11:20 a.m. Saturday, officials said.

First responders said they found the deceased victim with the cougar still standing over the body. As wildlife officials approached them, the cougar ran from the scene, a King County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson tells CBS News.

The injured 31-year-old biker was taken to a nearby hospital where they were listed in serious condition.

The Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife is handling the investigation. The sheriff’s office spokesperson said the fate of the cougar is unclear should they find it.

Cougars make up the largest members of the cat family in Washington, resulting in hundreds of calls to wildlife officers regarding sightings each year, according to the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife website. It says the increasing human population and decreasing cougar habitat may lead to more encounters between humans and cougars.

Bear Shot After Mauling 5 Year Old girl!

Tuesday, May 15th, 2018

Wildlife officers are confident the male bear they shot and killed Sunday night is the same bear that mauled a 5-year-old girl in East Orchard Mesa early that morning.

The girl — whose name hasn’t been released by authorities — is in fair condition and St. Mary’s Medical Center staff are monitoring her wounds after she underwent surgery and received 77 external stitches for bite marks.

The girl’s family did not want any information released about whether the girl is still at the hospital, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

Officers with Colorado Parks and Wildlife set three traps in the area for the bear and shot it as it headed toward a residence about a half-mile from the attack site near a home in the 3400 block of D Road.

An officer killed the bear at about 9:30 p.m., before it entered a trap, said Mike Porras, spokesman with Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

“One of the things we want to do is go to the family and tell them we killed the right bear, and we’re glad to hear that she will make a full recovery,” Porras said Monday of the girl and the family.

To be certain the killed bear is the same bear that attacked the girl, officials took the bear’s carcass to the Wildlife Health Laboratory in Fort Collins for a necropsy, an animal autopsy. From there, the bear’s carcass will be transported to a lab in Wyoming for DNA testing, at which point authorities can officially determine if they killed the correct bear, Porras said.

In the meantime, wildlife officials are continuing to search the East Orchard Mesa area for other bears, he said.

“In this case, it was our priority to protect human health and safety,” Porras said about killing the bear. “We’re here to provide protection to the public and ensure the public remains safe.”

Porras said wildlife officers have a theory the bear hibernated in the area and recently came out of hibernation seeking food. The bear attack occurred just south of the Colorado River, a riparian area that may be attractive to the bruin.

When the girl was attacked, both she and her mother acted correctly by screaming and fighting back, he said.

“This little girl is lucky to be alive,” Porras said. “You fight back. You want to teach a bear you don’t want to be messed with.”

Colorado Bear attack

Sunday, May 13th, 2018

A 5-year-old girl was injured early Sunday morning after a bear attacked her outside her Colorado home when she went to investigate a noise in the yard, officials said.

The girl, who was later reported to be in good condition, went outside around 2:30 a.m. after hearing noises in the yard in East Orchard Mesa, above the Colorado River corridor in Grand Junction, that she thought was her dog, FOX31 Denver reported.

He mother told Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials she heard her daughter scream and saw a large black bear dragging the girl.

The bear dropped the 5-year-old when the mother began screaming at the animal, according to the report.

The girl was taken to the hospital with serious injuries. FOX31 reported she was in good condition Sunday night.

Officials are still tracking the animal and asked residents in the area to report any bear sightings. Residents were also urged to keep put food inside and secure their trash.

And the Morel of the Story is?

Saturday, May 5th, 2018

Around these parts Mothers Day usually signals the start of mushroom hunting season.  Mushrooms are serious business here in Michigan!  Hunters protect, guard, and defend their favorite hotspots and would never turn anyone on to where they find these delicacies year after year!

If you don’t have your own “hotspot” and you love eating those delicious black and white morels then be prepared to pay big bucks to those that do have a “hotspot!” I have seen grocery bags of them go from $60-100 dollars.

I was thinking that this wet, cold, late snow spring would hold back the mushroom harvest for a week or so, but my wife found one today peeking through a pile of leaves in our side yard.  Two years ago I found 6 huge ones in the same spot.  I guess the recent sunshine and mid 70’s temperatures have worked their magic.  I may just have to take a little stroll through the woods tomorrow.

When I do get my hands on a few of those delicious “fungi”  I like to fry them up in butter.  First though I dip them in milk and eggs then roll them in flour, salt, and pepper.  I don’t need a sirloin to go along with them, but that would be nice.  As far as I’m concerned they “stand alone” on my list of Natures Bounty!  the pleasure derived from eating these delicacies is the reason Mushroom Hunters will never reveal from where the “bounty” came.  My lips are sealed!