Female grizzly bear captured near Metaline Falls

Staff Writer

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife announced that biologists captured, collared and released a female grizzly bear near Metaline Falls today.

The grizzly was the first to be captured and radio collared in the state, and was also accompanied by three yearling offspring. The bear was captured about 10-miles from the Washington-Idaho border on U.S. Forest Service land. The bears were photographed three to four weeks ago in the Selkirk Grizzly Bear Recovery Zone, which is between Northern Idaho, Southern British Columbia and Northeastern Washington.

Four adult males were captured in 1985, 2016 and 2018, but this was the first female capture. There is believed to be 70-80 bears in the recovery zone according to grizzly bear biologist Wayne Kasworm.

“Grizzly bears once occupied much of the Cascade and Selkirk Ranges, but their numbers were severely reduced as a result of persecution by early settlers and habitat degradation. Grizzly bear recovery started in 1981 and it took 40 years to confirm the first known female in Washington, that’s pretty remarkable,” WDFW bear and cougar biologist Rich Beausoleil said. “Wayne and his team have been working hard and deserve a lot of credit, they’ve been great partners.”