Last week Tim Manley asked permission to locate a bear trap at the Kinsolving’s meadow to the west of the cabin. By this and another trap placed at the Hoilands, Tim hoped to capture and collar a couple of female grizzles before they began to den. Tim said that they were not trying to capture and relocate problem bears, but collar females as a part of an ongoing study called the population trend monitoring program. The traps are equipped with satellite communications that send a signal to Tim when the gate drops. This way he doesn’t have to waste a trip driving up the road just to check empty traps.
On Tuesday the 15th of October, the Whale Creek Bear (probably the mother of Betsy and Patti bears) was trapped at the Hoilands, found to be in excellent condition, collared, and released. On Sunday the 20th of October, Betsy was captured in the trap at the Kinsolvings. How did they know that it was Betsy and not Patti? Positive identification of both bears was made by checking the chips that had been implanted in each bear when previously captured.
Betsy was also in excellent condition weighing in at over 300 lbs. It is not easy to weigh a bear that big. Tim and two FWP assistants carefully tranquilized Betsy and removed her from the trap. They took blood and hair samples and otherwise gathered the information they wanted. She was then given a shot to reverse the effects of the tranquilizer and pointed in the direction they wished her to go after recovery. Tim watched Betsy recover at a distance to make sure she was not harmed by any other bear that might come around.
Ruth said that this was her first experience of watching Tim Manley’s group work with a bear and she was impressed at how expertly and tenderly they handled such a magnificent animal.
Tim said that there was no sign of Patti. He also reported that they pulled the traps out yesterday, so won’t be capturing any more females for awhile.
Our thanks to Ruth Kinsolving for sending in the story and the photographs. And our special thanks to Tim for sending in supplemental information and taking such good care of the North Fork bears!