As we have reported, over the weekend a mother bear was killed in traffic in Mammoth Lakes. She left two cubs. The lives and fates of those animals has made news this week. Local bear experts say the cubs will die if not rescued. A Fish and Game wildlife biologist has ruled that they can survive and will not be rescued.
Mammoth Police Chief Dan Watson confirmed that Fish and Game Wildlife Biologist Tim Taylor and Warden Chad Elliott drove to Mammoth Lakes Monday afternoon to assess the cubs. Chief Watson said Taylor met with him, an officer and Mammoth Wildlife Specialist Steve Searles where the cubs were up in a tree. Chief Watson said Taylor studied the cubs and determined they were over 30 pounds and in his “professional opinion could survive the winter.”
Chief Watson said it was Taylor’s call. The Chief said, “That doesn’t mean I don’t respect the opinion of Officer Luke Schwartzkopf and Steve Searles. Fish and Game makes the final decision. I hope it’s the right one,” said Watson.
Both Schwartzkopf and Searles, who dealt with the orphaned cubs and hundreds of bears in Mammoth, stated that in their experience with bears in town these two babies will not survive the winter. Both of these men had pointed to the fact that the cubs were still suckling from their mother when she died. Although Fish and Game policy indicates that after August 1 cubs dependent on sows should be picked up and rescued, Taylor ruled that the cubs could survive.
Asked about the suckling issue, Chief Watson said he mentioned that to Taylor who claimed the cubs were also eating natural foods. Chief Watson said, “It’s their call. I appreciate the fact that a wildlife biologist evaluated them.”
Informed sources have said that Fish and Game relies on data from studies that say fist year cubs can survive the winter. It is believed the studies were not done in Mammoth Lakes or Tahoe at elevations of 8500 feet with severe winters. Fish and Game policy also discusses dealing with these issues on a case by case basis. In this case, food is scacre, it’s a drought, the cubs’ mother was lactating and the orphaned cubs are small.
Searles had arranged for the cubs to go to Tahoe Bear Rescue, but due to the Fish and Game decision that will not happen. While Sacramento Fish and Game has talked to us, they are not on scene and local Fish and Game has refused to speak to media. In fact, on scene the day of the bear cub incident, the warden refused to talk to media on scene.
I’m not sure why you feel the need to take a step back so that you can rationalize doing nothing more easily. You’re not seeing anything I don’t see. You’re just choosing not to feel anything about these 2 cubs. It IS important that the mother was killed by a… Read more »
The wildlife biologist, Tim Taylor, has a voicemail at 760-932-5749. Please call and leave him a message that these cubs need to spend the winter at Tahoe Bear Rescue to assure their survival until spring. The Department has a responsibility to ensure humane treatment of wildlife – at 8500 feet,… Read more »
That’s cool Christine, but the basic mission for the department is to protect the state’s wild resources. As I have stated before , it might be hard to see for some, but a part of that mission is not intervening in natures course. inhumane doesn’t really apply here, in this… Read more »
These cubs will not know how to build a winter nest to hibernate in, as they did not have their mother to show them, and they do not yet know to pick a nesting place near a tree with rough bark, so in an emergency, they can escape up the… Read more »
bapanaud, You might be right about their lack of knowledge, but sometimes they can surprise you. These people are not heartless I don’t think .. for one, they have to have some feelings of care for the animals, otherwise they would be doing some other line of work.
In cases like this when a decision is made that defies fundamental reasoning, the absence of even a shred of logic, and creates the unnecessary chance of death, a decision tag-teamed by Mammoth Police Chief Dan Watson; Fish and Game Wildlife Biologist Tim Taylor and Warden Chad Elliott, it is… Read more »
i hope he starves to death and the coyotes eat his sorry ass!
I trust Steve’s opinion over any so called wildlfe specialist with the DFG .. Steve has the bear’s best interest at heart . I’m sure many of us remember the DFG member who went on the big cat hunt out of state proof in the pudding care is not #1.… Read more »
upthecreek .. there goes that broken record again.
Until everyone knows the scam that the government has pulled on the sheeple/TAXPAYERS, You will continue to here it over and over again.
thanks for caring BIG AL
You’re welcome, that feels good coming from a fellow sheeple. hehe
For once.. I actually agree with Up the creek. LOL
@CC “Fish and Game continue their reputation of never willing to help or care”
Just ask them about their Pensions.. They sure “care” about those and “help” themselves to the Taxpayers Money.
at least tag the animals with monitoring devices in case they are under duress, starving or homeless. you can take the monitors off later. help our bears
Searles can find the cubs anytime he wants without any radio collars. I hope he will film their slow demise to fully expose DFG and especially their college boy “expert” Tim Taylor.
Nice one mammothite … way to be positive. Or .. express things positively, I should say.
Nothing wrong with exposing the truth Big Al.
The whole problem here is that it seems as though DFG just see’s the bears as numbers! My guess is that they just think if they make it then great! If not, it’s part of life. They really don’t want the expense of taking care of every injured or orphaned… Read more »
I think a great opportunity to educate the public was missed here … And a chance for some good PR for Fish and Wildlife. Educating the public on what officials CAN do can never be a bad thing and would have ensured the proper rehab and survival of these 2… Read more »
Yes a good opportunity was lost .. I feel too Ellie.
Fish and Game continue their reputation of never willing to help or care for wildlife, worst of all is knowing there was an alternative for these 2 bear cubs, but like usual F&G chosed to take the easy way out….makes me sick!
THE PEOPLE OF MAMMTOTH NEED TO BRING SOME GARBAGE CANS OUT TO THAT AREA AND LEAVE THEM FULL OF GOODIES FOR THE WINTER MONTHS.. tHAT IS THE ONLY WAY THESE CUBS WILL SURVIVE..
You can educate people and do studies…but how do you teach common sense? I agree with Practical Skeptic, we need a second opinion.
Maybe we should use this incident as a learning event for the future. We can work towards ensuring there are proper wildlife corridors to ensure that wildlife are not put into these situations. However, i do not feel that DFG has a vendetta towards these two black bears or any… Read more »
Having spent 30 years in law enforcement, dept. policies are a guideline, they should not be set in stone. Sometimes there are circumstances where the problem is better resolved by bending the rules for the benefit of all involved….I fee that in this case regarding the bear cubs maybe not… Read more »
This was a good article, glad to see more info … Chief Watson pretty much hit it on the head .. DFG has the last say .. even though he may feel it isn’t the right decision, but it’s not his to make. That last part was speculative on my… Read more »
No, sorry Wooly, State of California retards. Federal is US Fish and Wildlife Service.
Can a knowlegable and conserned Mammoth person contact the Lake Tahoe Bear League? (530) 525-7297. Prehaps they may be helpful…
I would like to hear a second opinion, from and independent bear researcher from out of the area, that does not have an agenda.
Once DFG states a position the facts don’t matter. A Black Bear study in the southern United States where it does not snow in the winte,r has little to do with what happens in Mammoth Lakes.
Fish and Game give educated people a bad name.
Where is you wildlife managment degree from?
No degree needed if you know anything about Bruce Kenny and his Mini Me Tim Taylor. If they had nothing to hide, they would talk to the press. They are afraid they will be asked tough and well researched questions by Bennet who will consult with outside experts prior to… Read more »