WISE is in the process of collecting skins and skulls for educational programs. On August 9, an unusual event provided a valuable addition to this collection.
In the late evening, WISE board member Dave Wellman received a call from advisory board member Arlene Rosenkrans about a grizzly bear that had been killed in a vehicle collision at about mile 74 of the Richardson Highway. Arlene wondered if Dave would like to salvage the skin and skull for the WISE collection. Dave was very busy preparing for an out-of-state trip, but when a rare opportunity like this knocks, it didn't seem right to close the door. So, after late night calls to the Alaska State Troopers and others, and with the help of Danny Rosenkrans (who also had no spare time for this kind of activity), the bear was winched onto a trailer and taken to Dave's home. The next day, after clearing the process with ADF&G, the bear was skinned. In this task, Dave was grateful for the help of Casey Somerville, the son of WISE board member Mark Somerville. Mark was also able to come by at the end of the process and assist with finishing touches. The hide and skull are now in a freezer, awaiting the final steps of cleaning and tanning. Volunteers able to help with this will be much appreciated. Give Dave a call at 822-3418.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) has previously assisted WISE with its fur collection, donating fox, lynx, and river otter furs. WISE is very grateful to ADF&G for getting this collection off to a good start.
WISE also thanks everyone who went the extra step to help WISE acquire a genuine Copper River Basin grizzly bear hide and skull. We also thank the bear and are sorry for its unfortunate demise.
Who We Are
WISEfriends are several writers connected with Wrangell Institute for Science and Environment, a nonprofit organization located in Alaska's Copper River Valley. Most of these articles originally appeared in our local newspaper, the Copper River Record.