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Bears Just Want to Have Fun

Two European brown bears at home at an animal park in Bavaria, Germany treated visitors to quite a spectacle. For over 20 minutes the 5 year old male and female bears frolicked and played like children in the snow. They would slide down the hill, run back up and slide down, with smiles on their faces.

Not only were they enjoying themselves, the visitors were given a laugh for the day watching the bears enjoy themselves so immensely. Photographer Duncan Usher had come to the park for the day to try to capture some live action shots of the wildlife there. Little did he know what a treat he was in for. He said he had a hard time taking photos since he was laughing so hard himself at the bears. After their "sledding" fun the bears played in the snow, then both took off in separate directions when they were all played out.

New Mexico Governor Signs Bill to Increase Ram Permits for Auction

New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez signed off on Bill 33, which would increase the desert bighorn ram permits from 2 to 4, for auction. The conservation funds raised are used for the desert bighorn sheep and habitat programs.

Previously one permit has been auctioned for $190,000. By increasing the number of permits to 4 they are hoping for a possible income of $800,000 for the bighorn sheep program. The desert bighorn sheep has made an incredible comeback in the state, with various programs and assistance. They were on the endangered species list for 31 years, before being removed last year. Their population was down to 70 and is now over 700.

Canadian Dog Owner Fights Off Mountain Lion

Late Friday evening a man was out walking his two leashed dogs near Canmore, Alberta. A mountain lion attacked, choosing to pick off the smaller of the two dogs. The man fought off the mountain lion, and ended up saving his dog. The dog did suffer some scratches from the altercation.

Colorado Make My Day Better Bill Does Not Pass

Colorado has a "Make My Day" law which protects homeowners legally if they need to use lethal force to protect themselves in the home. House Bill 1088, also referred to as the "make my day better" law, would have given business owners and employees the same protection. Allowing them to use whatever means they felt necessary if they felt threatened. It passed the Republican led house, but was shot down in the Democratic led Senate.

Wolves Too Close for Comfort

Jackson Hole is home to a large variety of wildlife. Deer and elk are the ones that residents like having around, but it is not surprising that with so many of these tasty animals around that there are predators. Bears, mountain lions, and more recently, wolves have all come to Jackson Hole.

Three to four wolves have been roaming the subdivisions in the Jackson Hole area. If the wolves have made the residential areas their territory, and are not threatened by humans, there could be some serious issues. The U.S. Fish and Game Service are going to try and tranquilize the wolves, and then give them a lethal injection.

OR-7 Done with California

After several months of wandering the wolf named OR-7 is now done with California and has returned home to Oregon. California has not had wild wolves in the state for the last 87 years. Then this past fall OR-7, a lone wolf from Oregon trekked down to California. He was looking for his own territory, different wolves, maybe love, but apparently he did not find it.

Encounter With a Spirit Bear

Mark Cawardine spent hours waiting for a rare encounter with a "spirit" bear in Canada's Great Bear Rain Forest. During his wait he saw many black bears, fishing their way up the river. Finally his patience panned out, a spirit bear came out of the forest to do some fishing.

South Dakota's Mountain Lion Season Over, Quota Filled

This year the mountain lion season in South Dakota started on January 1st. It was set to go until March 31st, or until 50 females had been taken or 70 total mountain lions had been taken. It was the latter that closed the season. 70 mountain lions were harvested in the 2 months since the season opened.

Wildlife commissioners increased the quota on mountain lions this year. It is believed that they are the primary predator of the Black Hills deer and elk. In efforts to increase the deer and elk population, they voted to increase the quota on the mountain lions.

Missouri Mountain Lions: Invasive Species or Wildlife?

Right now legislators in Missouri are discussing whether the large predators should be considered wildlife or as an invasive species. Then there's the fact that the mountain lions were there before settlers, so who really is the invasive species?

It is illegal to kill mountain lions in Missouri, but the senate would like to change that. Since 1994 there have been 28 sightings, and half of those happened in the last year. The animals are considered too dangerous to not make some efforts in controlling the population.

Undercover Agent Helps Hunt Down Poachers

Some poaching cases are simple and can be handled with some tips, and some investigation. Others are not that clear cut, and that is when people like Lucinda Delaney Schroeder come in. She is now retired from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service, where she was a special agent. She has become an author, using tales from her real life experiences. Schroeder has moved to Montrose, Colorado with her husband who is a wildlife biologist, after visiting Colorado during some of her work, she fell in love with the state.

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