Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Toby Jr. Takes A Break


What’s the difference between a grizzly bear and a brown you ask? Not a lot really. The browns live in areas closer to the coast and are a little larger then the higher elevation grizzlies, such as the ones that live in Montana. They are both best left alone. The polar bear is considered a marine mammal and of course lives by a whole different set of rules set down by Mother Nature. Much of the focus that centers around climate change, is based on the effect that it is having on the polar bear. It is true that climate change is taking place and it is having an effect on all species. Climate change is not new however. The area in Alaska that I work in, was once a tropical forest. It is still in question what effect man has on the process. The bottom line is that the polar bear will adapt to changes in the climate if not by mutation, then by adapting by breading with the brown bear which it has already done. It is just my opinion of course but I do see this as the new order of things. I would imagine that what you end up with is a bear more capable of surviving in more adverse conditions then before. The hunting skills and abilities of both animals. This is Mother Natures way. The photo was taken a few years ago and I admit the quality is less then perfect. It was a long shot with my 75 X 300 maxed out. This particular bear was alleged to be the off spring of the North Slopes most famous bears, “Toby.” Toby was one of the last character bears on the slope. He was smart, very smart and had grown up dealing with the security personnel. He knew exactly how far he would have to go into the tundra to avoid the cracker rounds. Toby would then just lay down and look at us knowing he had won. Toby was shot and killed after charging a group of people in the Prudhoe Bay Hotel a few years ago. This was after he had broke into the second story fire escape looking for some food. His death was reported on CNN and we all felt the loss. His offspring , like the one above, still roam the tundra.