ID tag on Little Black Bear. Before that, in 1952, a hunter killed what was supposed to be the “last grizzly in Colorado.” Both grizzlies were killed in these mountains. However, during the 1940s and 50s, their numbers started to dwindle thanks to a variety of factors, including a government-funded program for hunters aimed at reducing their population. My 25-year-old copy of Stackpole’s Guide to Animal Tracks does, too, but finding someone alive who’s seen a wild grizzly bear in Texas is impossible. However, this claim was proven inaccurate in 1979, when a bow-carrying elk hunter, Ed Wiseman, was attacked and mauled near Blue Lake, an alpine lake in the same mountain range where grizzlies made their last stand 27 years before. The Grizzly bear, or North American Brown Bear, is a fascinating creature that is well worth preserving from the wiles of idiot hunters that might shoot them for sport. According to one recent report, the black bear population in Colorado is booming, putting their number at around 19,000 in the Centennial State (compare this to around 1,400 wild grizzlies left in the entire American West). Grizzlies were trapped, shot and poisoned, and had already beco… While this may be a possibility, it’s unlikely, as the area where most grizzlies live in Wyoming is in the northwestern-most part of the state – as far from Colorado as they could be. The last known California Grizzly roaming Southern California was shot and killed on October 26, 1916, by farmer Cornelius B. Johnson in the Sunland area of Los Angeles County. Seen as a massive threat to livestock, this species was pushed into a smaller and smaller habitation zone until their last holdout was a just tiny section in the southern part of the San Juan Mountain Range. It’s also important to consider the misinformation about the size of black bears. While it’s probably unlikely that Colorado’s missing grizzly population is part of a conspiracy theory designed to protect the logging industry, it’s a concern that popped up several times during research of the topic. The last recorded grizzly in Orange County was a female known as "Little Black Bear.". All Rights Reserved. Following steps allow witnesses to explain the experience, describing the bears, how they spotted them, and where the incident occurred, among other things. Farmers and ranchers considered Mexican Grizzlies as pests as this mammal killed their cattle from time to time. It’s easy to see how a cinnamon black bear (pictured) can be mistaken for a grizzly to the untrained eye. On the other hand, there’s still a form on the official Colorado Parks & Wildlife website that allows one to report a grizzly spotting – and sightings by credible people do happen. My brother in law, David was an old Oakie boy who had grown up hunting bears with his dad. Pelt of Little Black Bear. Two scenarios seem the most feasible – that grizzlies migrate back into Colorado from another area or that grizzlies are reintroduced to the state. Mountain pass closes amid whiteout conditions in Colorado, Six 'fee-free' days announced at Colorado's national parks for 2021, Religions of the world come together in remote Colorado mountain town, 'Lucky not to have been killed': Weekend mountain rescues take place in dangerous terrain, Up to 11 inches of snow to hit part of Colorado as snowstorm rolls through state, Colorado city ranked one of best spots for jobs in America, but all don't agree. The last known specimen of a California grizzly was shot and killed in Fresno County in 1922. The bear dragged the trap five miles before it was caught by dogs. The Mexican grizzly is a subspecies of brown bear, so cursory research would seem to indicate that the Mexican grizzly is not extinct. According to newspaper accounts, Old Moccasin John was killed in the 1890s. Eventually, around 1952, it was decided that grizzlies were completely gone from Colorado. Pro-reintroduction arguments range from returning the ecosystem to its natural order to reintroducing this unique species in attempt to increase tourism dollars spent by  bear seekers, something that places like the Grand Tetons reap real financial benefits from. Old Moccasin John, Last Silver-Tailed Grizzly Bear of Orange County, 1908, Unknown photographer; Orange County, California, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. William B. Rochester. Until a grizzly is spotted in the Centennial State, I don’t think we’ll be able to definitively say whether they’ve been extirpated. An email has been sent to with a link to confirm list signup. Now, 66 years after their demise, the closest we can come to a local grizzly is through the writings of those who encountered them. Roams inside Yellowstone National Park, one of the 20th Century, the California grizzly bears free! 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