The Search for Divot
Hello all: We are back, and despite seeing Divot and cub briefly, we were unsuccessful at tranquilizing her. Here is what happened:
This morning, Divot and cubs were seen at about 8:30am at Lake Brooks, Rangers Michael and Leslie began following her on foot and continued to do so until she reached Dumpling Creek. Ranger Matthew joined them by boat.
She and her cub were last seen fishing Dumpling Creek around 11:00am, and then disappeared up the creek.
Around 1:30, Ranger Mike, Ranger Roy, Ranger Sherri, Ranger Chad, and Ranger Grant, the biologist licensed to tranquilize wildlife arrived on scene. We did a sweep of the heavily forested and steep terrain, and while we saw recent evidence of bear activity, we saw neither of them. We returned to the boats and waited. One boat patrolled the lakeshore looking for her, the other waited where she was last seen. After about 90 minutes, we were preparing to leave and we saw her a few hundred yards down the beach. She rapidly closed the distance faster than we could prepare for the shot and she went right up the creek again. Even if we had been ready we may not have taken the shot because having her head back of the creek again while tranquilized would have made it difficult for us to deal with her and locate her. The park plane was in the area and flew the creek and observed that she continued up the creek. We waited for her return, but had to call it off because after tranquilizing a bear, it takes about 4 hours for them to be fully in control again, and it would have put us out there after dark. We will continue looking for her early Wednesday morning around camp, and will also go back to her little salmon fishing paradise, too.
I was unable to read too far into the thousands of comments, but I get the idea that some have speculated that we have received resistance from above. That is absolutely false. We requested assistance from our regional office and received it within minutes. The perceived delay was not because of red tape, it was purely logistical--Nothing happens fast in bush Alaska. We did not have to get permission from anyone to address the issue, we simply had to locate people with the necessary skills and equipment and then transport them to one of the most remote places on earth, hence the 24hr delay.
The wire that is around her neck may be a snare, or it may be something else. We won't know for sure until we remove it. Trapping is not allowed in the park, but this sow and cub are easily capable of traveling outside the park in a few days. There is currently no reason to jump to the conclusion that there is poaching in the park. If it is indeed a snare, it may have been accidentally left behind last winter. Trapping is generally done for furs, and this is the wrong season for that. Too much shedding going on.
I will probably edit this again, but I wanted to get an update to you all as soon as possible. Please do not assume that something nefarious is going on when we are silent. We had 8 people on the ground and three in a plane looking for her. All who have been involved in attempting this rescue have Divot's best interest at heart at all times.
what else happened at this day