Grizzlies disappearing from their range

The largest and most dangerous carnivore in North America is the Grizzly Bear.
An animal which may weigh up to 1,500 pounds, stand four-and-a-half feet tall at the shoulder, and is reputed to have a terrible disposition is an adversary to be reckoned with.
Whether this animal ever wandered into Northwestern Ontario, we don’t know. It certainly did roam all the way from Manitoba and the Mississippi through all of western Canada and the U.S.
The old scientific name, Ursus horribilis, was a pretty apt one. Now, however, scientists have classified several big brown bears under the same name, Ursus arctos.
In the old days before the white man came, the Grizzly was almost indestructible. Arrows and spears made almost no impression on this great beast.
To the Mandans, hunting the Grizzly was almost as dangerous as war. A necklace of claws was one of the greatest distinctions a warrior could wear.
The first accurate account of the Grizzly Bear was made by Lewis and Clark in 1805. They met and shot several. Their muzzle-loaders had to be very accurate—and even that wasn’t always enough.
Sometimes a Grizzly could run for a quarter-mile with a ball lodged right in his heart.
One of the common things done with a bear carcass was to obtain the fat or oil from it. A big bear might provide up to 30 gallons. This always was carefully husbanded to be used like lard for cooking.
The meat also was used for food.
This bear’s diet—like that of most bears—consists of some meat and a lot of vegetation. They eat grass, roots, nuts, berries, and so on. But they are quite capable of killing anything which they can catch.
One swipe of that monstrous forepaw can break the neck of a bull or a buffalo.
As far as movement is concerned, this bear is no slouch, either. For short runs, 100 yards or so, he can outrun a horse. Not much wonder this was the most feared animal in the west.
Most Grizzly Bears are brown, varying from light fawn to almost black. The outer hairs usually are white or grey, giving the animal what used to be called a “grizzled look.”
The Grizzly Bear is a loner. The male and female spend only a very short time together during the mating season. Like most bears, they hibernate during the coldest weather.
They also are very shy of man, and usually will move off unseen if people approach.
The one variation of this is when they get accustomed to eating garbage in national parks. Then they get used to the food and lose their natural fear of man.
This is when they can become extremely dangerous.
The Grizzly Bear—that most fearful of all North American mammals—is now pretty much restricted to Alaska and British Columbia. It has disappeared from most of its original range.
Grizzlies and civilization simply don’t mix.

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