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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Monday, May 13, 2013

White men well before Lewis & Clark encountered Grizzly Bears.............The Spanish Conquistador Francesco Coronado was the first to record that he saw "bears(not delineated Griz or Black) during his AD 1540 two year journey from Mexico up into Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska...............Prior to that, Cabeza de Vaca, another Spanish Explorer almost certainly encountered "Griz" during his AD 1532 visit to the American West.................The first actual Griz written description came from Claude Jean Allouez, a French Missionary in 1666 as he wove his way into the Pacific Northwest to convert the Indians there to Christianity...........It took until 1769 for someone to call the Griz by name,,,,,,,,,English Explorer Samuel Hearne in his journey in northwestern Canada said the following in his journal----"skin of an enormous grizzled Bear".........."camping at a spot not far from Grizzled Bear Hill, which takes its name from the number of those animals that are frequently known to resort thither"



discovery.comTimeline: 1500's to 1700's

Francisco Coronado, depicted here on his quest
 for gold in the American interior during the years
1540 to 1542, was one of the first Europeans to
 venture into grizzly bear country. He journeyed
 as far north as present-day Colorado, Kansas and
 Nebraska. At the time, there were between
50,000 and 100,000 grizzly bears roaming in the
 American West.

On the other hand, Francesco
 Vasquez de Coronado's
 journal specifically mentions
 "bears," without going into
detail. In 1540, he embarked
 on a two-year expedition
into the American interior.
His search for gold took him
 as far north as present-day
 Colorado, Kansas and
 Nebraska – prime grizzly
 bear country at that time.
Claude Jean Allouez, a
French missionary to the Pacific
Northwest, penned the first
 known description of the
grizzly bear in 1666. In his
 journal he described a nation
 of Native Americans who
"eat human beings, and live on
 raw fish" but who, in turn,
 are "eaten by bears of frightful
size, all red, and with prodigiously
 long claws."
Grizzlies were next mentioned by
English explorer Henry
 Kelsey, who journeyed across the
 Canadian West between
 1690 and 1691. On August 20, 1691,
 Kelsey wrote of
 "a great sort of Bear wch is Bigger
than any white Bear
 & is Neither White nor Black
 But silver hair'd like
 our English Rabbit ..." In September
 he again mentioned
the "outgrown Bear wch. is good meat"
 and which "makes
 food of man."
Grizzlies were mentioned more
 frequently in journals
 throughout the 18th century.
In 1703, for instance,
Baron Lahontan wrote: "The
Reddish Bears are
mischievous Creatures, for they
fall fiercely upon
the Huntsmen, whereas the black
 ones fly from 'em."
Two decades later, Pierre Francois
Xavier de Charlevoix
wrote the first report on Native
American grizzly-hunting activities.
The first explorer to describe the
 bear as "grizzled" was Englishman
 Samuel Hearne, who journeyed
 across northwestern Canada to the
 Arctic Ocean from 1769 to 1772
. In his journal, Hearne mentioned
 seeing the "skin of an enormous
grizzled Bear" and camping at a
spot "not far from Grizzled Bear Hill
, which takes its name from
the number of those animals that are
 frequently known to resort thither..."

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