Grizzly bear carcass found on Whatcom County beach

WHATCOM COUNTY, Wash. — The carcass of a 1- to 2-year-old male grizzly was found on a beach in Whatcom County last week, The Bellingham Herald reported.

According to the report, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Game Warden David Jones was shocked by reports of a dead grizzly bear and went to the beach just north of the Cherry Point Refinery to check it out himself.

Jones said black bear sightings are common in the rural areas of the county but seeing a confirmed grizzly is unheard of.

A piece of the carcass has been sent to federal agencies to determine where the bear might have come from but that could take some time, Jones told the newspaper.

The head and claws of the grizzly were given to a WDFW biologist for examination. The grizzly showed no signs of trauma or had bullet holes.

According to WDFW, grizzly bears once occupied much of the Cascade Mountains and eastern Washington but have disappeared from much of the mountain range due to being killed, a loss of habitat and habitat degradation.

The bears are listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act and classified as an endangered species in the state.

According to a WDFW 2019 executive summary, grizzlies occupy the Selkirk Mountain range in the northeastern corner of Washington.

While Jones awaits results from his sample sent to federal agencies, he believes the bear might have come from Canada.