ST. IGNATIUS – Wildlife officials in the Mission Valley have reported sightings of two young grizzly bears in the valley this past week.
The Confederated Salish and Kootenai wildlife managers said it’s very early for grizzlies to be out of their den, and they believe the cubs are from a mother that was illegally shot and killed last fall.
CSKT Wildlife Management Program posted on their Facebook page Thursday that the grizzlies are an unusual situation.
A section of the CSKT Wildlife Management Program’s post reads:
Because these were cubs-of-the-year, meaning this was their first year alive and out with their mother, she would have lead them back to their den for hibernation last fall. Hibernation is an adaptation to a seasonal shortage of food, low environmental temperatures, and snow cover on the ground. They would have emerged again, all together this spring, to learn from her one more year before she could breed again and they would disperse out on their own. However, because they were not taught what to do when the temperatures got colder, they just kept roaming around the valley and eating. They had not been seen (or at least reported) until the recent cold snap.