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. old3putt

    Biden's been functional for 60 plus years with half a brain but CNN does a story on a bear.

    May 14, 2012 at 7:15 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Michael Mario Calaizzo

    Wonderful story of courage and we can learn from theis Bear.

    May 14, 2012 at 11:36 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Lola

    Must have been attacked by Palin.

    May 14, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Linda Chover

    My three-legged cat got around for fourteen years! It is good that he lives in a park.

    May 14, 2012 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Randall

    This bear obviously woke up with Sarah Palin laying on his right arm.

    May 15, 2012 at 8:59 am | Report abuse | Reply
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