Alaska grizzly missing half a leg
A biologist says the bear, called Tri-pawed, seems to be doing well at Alaska's Denali National Park.
May 11th, 2012
02:00 PM ET

Alaska grizzly missing half a leg

Visitors to Alaska's Denali National Park this summer may be able to catch a glimpse of something you don't see every day: a three-pawed grizzly bear.

A picture of the bear shows it to be missing about half of its right front leg.

"We call him Tri-pawed," park biologist Pat Owen told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. "He kind of hops around."

The bear, the first Owen has seen missing a paw in 23 years with the Park Service, was first spotted in the park last year, when the wound was still bloody, she told the paper. She wondered at that time whether the injury would prevent the bear from getting food, digging its winter den or defending itself.

But it seems to have done just fine, she said.

One person at the park even saw the bear leap a highway guardrail, Owen told the Daily News-Miner.

"They said he looked very agile. I don't think he has any trouble getting around," she was quoted as saying.

Owen said park officials don't know how the bear was injured, but did not think it was from a trap because the wound was a clean cut.

The Park Service won't track the bear and won't do anything special to help it, she said. While the grizzly is listed as a threatened species in the lower 48 states, there are about 30,000 grizzlies in Alaska, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

"For now, we'll let him do his thing and see what happens," Owen told the Daily News-Miner. But she said that if the grizzly is still around when visitor season opens on May 20, the park may post signs so rangers won't have to repeatedly answer the same questions about it.

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Filed under: Alaska • Animals • Bears
soundoff (202 Responses)
  1. SEAL Team Alpha and Omega

    The Military was so right on for cancelling Ted "50 Cal" Nugent's concert at an Army base because of his extremist views and the fact he "aims" to see President Obama to be "defeated." Styx and REO Speedwagon needs to step up and publicy denounce Nugent and ban him from playing at any venue they are doing.

    Too bad about the bear. Hope it survives, lives long and prospers.

    May 12, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Medium Tedium

      Sure, Teddy, because it was O that put them there in the first place, right? Yeah, ok.

      May 12, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • NanookoftheNorth

      It will, it's in the reserve. That's what surprised me about anyone thinking it would have been caught in a trap. Our local news said it is not "uncommon" to see an animal with a part or a piece of a limb missing up here. After seeing the damage a bear can do to a mans face (completely swiping his eyes off) and hearing of the yearly bear attacks, I will again state, "the only good bear is a dead bear" !

      May 12, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • tf9999

      Are you drunk?

      May 12, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Karl

    That bear is a real soldier.

    May 12, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      No, just lower on the food chain. Bigfoot was hungry.

      May 12, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Mr. Ranger

    Most likely his paw was stuck somehow on the railroad track, possibly digging for termites.

    May 12, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • NanookoftheNorth

      Ranger – That's what the local news mentioned also (CH. 2, Anchorage).

      May 12, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  4. CA Liberal

    TBJones........make sure to give yourself a slug before you do the bear......problem solved

    May 12, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  5. nra

    /ted nugent maims wildlife for sport

    May 12, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  6. NanookoftheNorth

    Been up here 14 years now.....the only good bear is a dead bear !

    May 12, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  7. brad1001

    Nugget's music was bad 30 yrs ago, I was there, and only his extremist in your face view keeps him in the public realm as it is. Otherwise he too would be forgotten as the other two stinky bands are. (Saw them too). That the bear is rockin' three lags and getting on like it is, that's a real American. I could think of a worse three bands to see, but it would take some thought.

    May 12, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mr.Ranger

    @Nanook, oh really? Yes, that does seem the most logical, thanks for the info.

    May 12, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • NanookoftheNorth

      Ranger – You're welcome :-)

      May 12, 2012 at 11:52 pm | Report abuse |
  9. shelly brussard

    glad the bear is ok, poor thing. I find it amusing that the park rangers would have signs posted so they don't have to answer the same questions....gee what a tough job.

    May 12, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
  10. T. Boyd

    bigfoot got the paw hanging around his neck

    May 12, 2012 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
  11. avatar

    animals have a built in survivor mechanism to cope with physical impediments

    May 13, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Prediction

    Clearly a trap and partially severed it is the only way the bear would not bleed to death. Eventually, the bear pulled inself loose and the partial severe leg would have eventually fell off. The trap probably had Palin stamped on it.

    May 13, 2012 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
  13. jannice

    Thats what nature does. Its ALWAYS survival of the fittest. Apparently,he is as fit as they come. Even though they can be very dangerous animals,I am glad to read a happy ending. He adjusted very well.

    May 13, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
  14. good

    Thats a good thing that the bear is surviving its probaly a knife wound lol spelled a word wrong

    May 13, 2012 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really?

      Good – come to Alaska and learn. You fight a bear with knife, the bear will win.

      May 14, 2012 at 2:05 am | Report abuse |
  15. jthomasin

    Makes me feel bad about worrying about my own limitations. I got both my paws at least.

    May 14, 2012 at 6:46 am | Report abuse |
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