Posted by: davepidgeon | November 2, 2009

Albino bear among the glaciers

This qualifies as pretty cool – wildlife officials in Montana moved an albino black bear to the safety of Glacier National Park just as hunting season began. From the Daily Inter Lake:

Tim Manley, a grizzly bear management specialist for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, said he was contacted the week of Oct. 19 by Olney residents who had seen a pale-colored grizzly bear in the area.

He set a culvert trap and within a couple days, he had a bear.

“It turned out to be an albino black bear,” said Manley, adding that it was a 4-year-old male weighing about 150 pounds.

Manley said some residents urged him to relocate the bear somewhere where it would not be such a vulnerable target during the five-week general hunting season, which is currently under way.

“They said it would be nice if you could put it somewhere where it could be secure,” he said.

One reason why this bear will now have a better chance to survive:

Albino bears typically do not survive very long because they often have vision problems, Manley said.

The bear released in the park “definitely seemed to be light sensitive,” he noted.

Hard enough and exciting enough to spot a bear when you’re hiking, even in high-population parks like Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountains, but can you imagine coming across an albino bear? Visitors to Glacier, keep your eyes and cameras at the ready.

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