Monday, August 20, 2012

Grizzlies in the Big Horns

It’s easy to mistake black bears for grizzly bears when relying on attributes such as color or size since both can vary from blonde to black, but there are a few traits that lead to a more accurate identification. Black bears have no shoulder hump, its ears are tall and pointed and its facial profile is straight from nose to ear. The grizzly bear however, has a distinctive shoulder hump, short rounded ears and its facial profile appears dished in. Grizzly habitat in Wyoming is primarily confined to northwestern Wyoming, but as populations increase and habitat decreases bears will expand their territory and reestablish in previous historical ranges or in new habitats. While grizzly bears have not inhabited the Bighorn National Forest since the early 20th century, black bears are widespread and for the sake of fiction I have hastened the expansion of a solitary grizzly back into the Big Horn Mountains as a deadly storm is brewing…

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