~Fairmount The Series Pt. 6: “Physical Alterations”~

“Fairmount”

The Series

Part 6
“Physical Alterations”

By

Gregory V. Boulware, Esq.

http://www.BoulwareEnterprises.com

/*

“Well gentlemen, shall I enlighten our esteemed gatherers to you’re – shall I say, most recent activities?” The ranger smiled. The four zoo officials looked at one another. The mayor, the commissioners, and the three captains looked at them as well. They did not answer.

The ranger waited as he nodded to his colleagues. Professor Francis stood with several papers in her hand. “Madame Mayor, Commissioners, and Gentlemen of Our City’s Law Enforcement Community…I have documentation that supports a belief that our city zoo officials have first hand knowledge of counsel given and granted to a research project on the Alaskan Bear Project.” Genailia peered directly at the four learned and stunned men. She put down the papers and picked up a batch of photos. One by one, she passed them out to the panel members. They in turn viewed them while passing the pictures back to Genailia. The ranger said, “I’ll ask you once more…what in the hell have you all to do with this bear and its physical alterations?” He glared directly at the assumed leader of the group – Dr. Horatio Martin Mulberry, P.H.D., D.V.M. The dumbfounded group leader frowned and grew angry. “What are those damned papers in your possession?” The Doctor of Veterinary Medicine barked. His questioning demand was announced with ferociousness as his eyes narrowed and reddened with a cold and defiant stare. The evil eyes darted and fixed directly on Ranger Glenn after glancing off the two professors.

Gerald replied, “They are documentation and photographic proof of you and your revered colleagues’ involvement in this insidious experiment with wildlife manipulation!”

The three other officials, Dr. Stephen Lazzaro Steigleton, P.H.D., Dr. Martini Rossi Henrikson, P.H.D., and Lawrence Salzy McGorsky, Anthropologist, Archeologist and Doctor of Veterinary Science. Mulberry stood and motioned to the other zoo officials. They rose in tandem and filed out of the meeting room arena. In the corridor outside the mayor’s office was a contingent of reporters. They’d gotten wind of a heated discussion in connection with the mauling attacks of last month. One particular journalist found a way to listen in on the private conversation exclusively.

Salestian “Sally” Michaels was born and raised in Philadelphia. He got his start as a ‘South Philly’ newspaper boy. In the heart of the ‘Mafiosi’ community, Michaels shined shoes, ran errands, and did odd jobs for the guys. “Good Fellas” like Angel Brondidi and Nick “the Needle” Scarily. Sally, as his friends and adversaries called him, hung around the corner bars on Passyunk Avenue. The little Black Kid was a pest. But the guys liked him. Nobody dared call him ‘Nigger’ or “Lil Black Sambo.” Angie didn’t like it. The last man that did it went missing a couple of days later. He was found six months later. The body turned up while workers were rehabbing an old pier of the Tioga Docks on the Delaware River. The body was found in an old rusted out fifty-five gallon oil drum in the basement of one of the storage piers on site. He seemed to have a rather large clown like smile. It turned out to be a blood-coagulated slit from ear to ear, just under the chin. The lips were frozen shut around a sausage that was shoved in his mouth. He’d been there for some time. The coroner estimated a five to six month period. The drum, like many others, went unnoticed n the waterfront of the old docking pier that was mired and caked with sludge from oil off many barges docked at the old piers along the strait.

The missing man slapped Sally n the top of his head and kicked in the butt. Laughing with his friends, the drunken white man chided about the little nigger kid’s hanging out and panhandling for dimes and handouts. He said to his compatriots, “Look at them sambos…beggin and shinin for our hard-earned dough. The Black bastards ought to be lickin my spit and wiping my ass just for the privilege of lookin at me!”
But the dude messed with the wrong lil black kid. This kid was Angie’s kid – his protégé.

Michaels knew of a little closet-like door right next to the personal entrance to the mayor’s chambers. It was an old broom closet not in use for years. The walls were paper -thin. One of which rotted to the point of disintegration. It was due to be replaced and had been neglected for work elsewhere in City Hall. The reporter kept this accidental info to himself. He stumbled upon it one day while chasing a story. City Hall suffered a temporary blackout one summer during his first year of reporting. He stumbled upon the room in the dark while seeking the men’s restroom. Sally got wind of some of the best inside stories for a rookie reporter right from that little room. At the young age of eighteen, he got the job through an acquaintance of Angie’s. The guy owed Angie a couple of favors, so he hired Sally in order to appease his situation with the good fellow. He really didn’t like the kid because he was black…but he was Angie’s kid. From an errand boy in the copy room, Sally grew on Adam Silvestry. The two old guys sponsored and paid for Sally’s college education. After graduating Philadelphia University with a degree in Business Administration, Sally worked a few jobs around town. They were basically dead end jobs where many yes men hung out – hoping and kissing ass for promotions. Salestian wanted to write. He took a few journalism courses at Temple University and chased a few stories for the Globe. He was always under the watchful eye of Silvestry.

During a mayoral election, Sally got an inside scoop while hanging out with one of his Old Italian buddies. His buddy was a South Philly committeeman who had some pull around town. After his first feature story, Sally was hired full-time as a reporter for the Globe. From that point on, he was and had become an ace reporter as well as earning journalistic respect and town and in Camden too.
The inside scoop on this story will win him a Pulitzer Prize, he thought. He was enjoying the birds-eye view on this scoop – a big time story and its unfolding events.

Glenn said to the mayor, “The animal that we seek is a product of an insane experiment. The zoo guys are directly involved in it. They are manipulating plant and animal species for the purpose of stimulation and enlargement of growth. I suspect their capitalistic egos are tasting and smelling huge financial and notoriety gain – at the expense of the animals and us… Deaths be damned – its collateral damage in their eyes.”

“So what do we do about it?” Asked the mayor. “What do we do to get this animal and keep it from killing anyone else?”

“My team and I will deal with the animal. The question is what will you do in dealing with the assholes that brought this shit here?” Replied the ranger.

Finkles’ green eyes seemed to flash red. “OK men…that’s it…let’s get to work! I want this nightmare ended – give the ranger anything and everything he needs and or wants!” She paused and glared at the two captains. “And I mean everything!” She placed special emphasis on the word everything as she stormed out of the reception room through a door into the private mayoral chambers. Once there, she snatched the receiver of the telephone from its cradle. Buttons were punched feverishly. She was more than angry. She was pissed…totally. From outside of her chambers, the demanding and tumultuous screams could seemingly be heard throughout the city hall infrastructure. Professor Rockford just followed along in silence.

The police captains glared at each other while standing in place like pillars of salt. The commissioners nodded at one another upon departure from the meeting room. The ranger, Genailia, and Vernon were already descending the stairway from the top floor. They had no time to wait for elevators. Glenn was anxiously screaming orders to his pre-assembled team by way of two-way radio. He kept the unit on his holster attached to his belt, next to his cell phone. Genailia was anxiously giving directions to her staff via cell phone. Her administrative and investigative staff was centered and housed in the old “Germantown Hall” located at Germantown Avenue and Haines Street in the Germantown area of Philly. The 14th District was right next-door – it used to be housed within the Town Hall structure until they became separated with the construction of the new and modernized building, The command center of Captain Samuel!

Bk.Fairmount.FrtCvr_9.27.13

 

>

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*/

~‘The Myrtlewood Street Funeral’~

“Fairmount” 

The Series

Part 5

By

Gregory V. Boulware, Esq.

‘The Myrtlewood Street Funeral’

 

/*

Mayor Finkles, Commissioner Talis, Lieutenant Commissioner Talis, Fairmount Park Commissioner James L. Blake (the Fairmount Park Board of Commissioners was abolished a year ago-only one elected official exists), several members of City Counsel, four Police Captains – the 14th, 39th, 5th, and 55th districts – were in attendance of the funeral of Officer Scott Randolph. The second officer with his wife and psychiatrist were there too. He was placed on medical leave because he witnessed the horrible attack and suffered major anxiety attacks and nightmares from that infamous night a week and a half ago.

 

The news media swarmed the event. They surrounded Officer Leonard Kirkpatrick, his wife Evelyn, and his doctor – asking all kinds of questions while shoving microphones recorders and cameras in their faces. “What was it like to see your partner bitten in half by the beast?” “Why didn’t you shoot the monster when he attacked?” “What did the thing look like, officer?” “Why didn’t the thing eat the other half?” “How come you didn’t get eaten by the beast?” “Did the monster eat…?” “GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY FACE!” Screamed the inundated cop. Other officers in attendance to the funeral heard the commotion and came to his rescue. The group of relatively large cops escorted the overwhelmed man, while physically keeping the reporters at bay, and his companions across the street to their parked car. The doctor drove the weeping man and his wife away from the barrage of demanding questioners. Officer Kirkpatrick was the third cop to show on the  West River Drive scene. He saw the monster attack and devour the two officers. He arrived just after the beast had walked off. He had no direct contact with the assailant. The bloody testament would remain with him for the rest of his life.

 

Standing on the other side of the street from the Northeast Funeral Parlor was Ramses Irvin. He attended the funeral services of both attack victims, Czerpaky and Randolph. His brother Akeem, Uncle Rue McCallister, and a few of the men accompanied the father of the slain boy from their neighborhood. The group of Black men crossed the street to where the reporters were congregating. Ramses grabbed one of the reporters, who happened to be a white female. The group of cops stopped their conversation to watch the confrontation. The embittered father demanded a verbal response from the journalist. “WHY WEREN’T YOU PEOPLE ASKING QUESTIONS WHEN MY BOY WAS KILLED?” “WHY IS IT THESE QUESTIONS ARE ADDRESSED AFTER MY SON WAS KILLED BY THIS THING?” “WHY WEREN’T YOU ALL FALLING ALL OVER YOURSELVES WHILE INVESTIGATING MY BOYS KILLING?” Ramses got the attention of all the reporters present. “WAS IT BECAUSE THIS IS THE FUNERAL OF A WHITE NORTHEAST COP AS OPPOSED TO A LITTLE BLACK BOY FROM NORTH PHILLY?” Screamed the distraught teary-eyed father. “I WILL ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS…LINDSEY WAS A HUMAN BEING TOO!” Said Ramses.

 

Prior to the funeral, the mayor wanted to hear what Ranger Glenn had to report. She was dressed in a pastel color of lime green…a pants suit and white blouse with black patent leather pumps on her feet. Modest looping ivory earrings draped her ear lobes. Her flaming shoulder length red hair was nicely arranged. The meeting attendees – Police Commissioner Tanex, Lieutenant Commissioner Talis, Fairmount Park Commissioner Blake were adorned in business suits of brown to navy blue suits, shirts of white and color coordinated ties. The police commanders dressed in the formal uniforms indicating their respective rankings. The meeting was held at the mayor’s office on the seventh floor of city hall. The meeting time was set for 10:A.M. The ranger had not yet appeared. The group was becoming noticeably agitated.

 

10:22 A.M. arrived when the striking 6ft.1’, square jawed, raven-black curly and flowing manned, well-muscled man of about 230 lbs swaggered into the room. Ranger Glen was accompanied by the beautiful olive brown complected, slender framed, crowned with waste length silky brown hair, thirty-ish Professor Genailia Francis. She wore very little makeup…not that she needed any…a natural beauty indeed. She was dressed in a modest maroon colored business suit with a skirt that was gifted by a pair of long well shaped legs and beautifully tapered ankles that settled into a pair of comfortable black soft leather shoes. Professor Vernon Rockford, a stocky but stout and healthy looking elderly gentleman in nicely fitted eyeglasses that portrayed intelligent eyes, dressed in an outdated brown pin-striped suit with a greenish spotted tie, atop a yellowish shirt and ending ensemble of brown wing-tipped loafers covering his feet, brought up the rear of the trio.

 

The three, two unexpected, professionals approached the table that faced the podium of the mayor’s audience chamber. The table was backed by several chairs, which the trio pulled out and sat upon after they rested their briefcases and several manila envelopes. They offered no apologies for arriving late to the meeting. Ranger Glenn made it very clear that he had lost his patience for the mayor’s party and the mismanagement of the situation at hand. He began to explain his investigative research trip to Alaska, Canada, and New York as well as speculative opinions of wildlife experts, game wardens, and other rangers regarding the recent attacks within the city’s parkland.

 

Before he could continue, the chamber doors burst opened…exposing Philadelphia Zoo Officials, its CEO and curator. The group demanded to know why they hadn’t been invited to this meeting. The ranger addressed the usurpers…”because you don’t know shit about this animal – or do you? He said with an accusing arrogance. The zoo officials stopped talking and seated themselves in the seats of the meeting room gallery. The ranger had their full attention.

 

The separate groups, all seated, began to listen to the ranger’s report and investigation conclusions. Ranger Glenn passed out hard copy printouts of the report to the panel. This maneuver allowed visual aid; insuring the comprehension and confirmation of information to be shared. The report also contained various photographs and wildlife leaflets of advertisements for fishing, camping, and boating trips.

 

The report states the following:

 

“Alaska is renowned for its wildlife viewing as perhaps no other place on earth. Viewing of Kodiak bears, schools of spawning salmon so thick you can almost walk on them, giant moose, vast herds of caribou, pure white tail sheep, whales of various species, puffins, seals and walrus,” said the ranger.

 

Kodiak Island:

Kodiak, Alaska, for brown bear viewing; Aniak Alaska, Fishing and Hunting, in remote regions of Western and Southwestern Alaska with experienced bush pilot. Fishing for salmon, trout, pike, grayling and shellfish. Hunting for brown grizzly bear, moose, and caribou; including river rafting, wildlife viewing, and backpacking trips in remote regions of Western and Southwestern Alaska.

 

Anchorage, Alaska:

Anchorage is Alaska’s largest city and the gateway to a state full of adventure. Fairbanks, the Golden Heart of the Interior – Juneau is Alaska’s capital.

 

Talkeetna, Alaska:

Located in the heart of Alaska’s Talkeetna Mountains, Alaska’s finest stream & lake fishing for king, red and silver salmon, arctic grayling and rainbow trout; Fly-fishing Kennebec River.

 

Denali:

Denali National Park is home to the tallest mountain in North America and an impressive array of wildlife.

 

Glacier Bay:

At Glacier Bay, you can see tidewater glaciers and kayak through valleys and fjords carved by retreating glaciers. Wrangell-St. Elias National Park

Mountains, mines and glaciers are key to the largest national park, a world unto itself.

 

Kenai Fjords:

This national park is perfect for wildlife viewing and kayaking near a glacier.

 

National forests:

Alaska’s two national forests are great for fishing, hunting, or mountain biking. The state has over 100 state parks and recreation areas for camping, fishing or a picnic. Brown, black and polar bear species enthrall visitors to the state. Alaska has flourishing populations of all three North American bears – brown, black and polar. Brown bears are famous for their salmon-fishing antics, their size and their ferocity. On Kodiak Island, browns grow to 1,200 pounds or larger because of the easy supply of salmon and the mild winters. Although many people fear the hump-shouldered bears – and rightly so – careful behavior in bear territory makes bruin viewing safe in such widely scattered places as Denali National Park, McNeil River State Game Sanctuary, Katmai National Park, Hyder’s Fish Creek and the Anan Creek and Pack Island bear observatories. Occasional browns wander out of Chugach State Park and into Anchorage and its suburbs.

 

“The distinction between brown and grizzly bears is geographical. Brown bears that live close to the coast are called brown bears. Browns living inland and in northern lands, such as Denali, are called grizzlies,” Glenn said. “They share the scientific name Ursus arctos.”

 

Professor Genailia Francis added, “Black bears are smaller than browns and also cover a great deal of the state. Their fur color isn’t always black; it may even appear brown, cinnamon or (rarely) blue.”

 

“Black bears may be seen feeding on salmon at Anan Creek, but they’re common enough in Juneau, Seward and parts of Anchorage to be considered pests. A male bear that’s ready for hibernation may weigh 240 pounds. The scientific name is Ursus americanus,” she said.

 

“Polar bears inhabit the northern coastline, living on pack ice much of the year in search of ringed seals to eat. These long-necked bears often visit coastal towns such as Barrow and Point Hope and move as far south as the Kuskokwim Delta. Mature males reach 1,200 pounds. The scientific name is Ursus maritimus,” interjected Professor Vernon Rockford.

 

The report continued…

 

Bears of the Interior:

Denali National Park is a great place for viewing grizzlies.

 

Bears of Northern Alaska:

Polar and grizzly bears can be seen in Northern Alaska.

 

Bears of western Alaska:

Western Alaska is famous for its brown bears.

 

Bears of Southeast Alaska:

There are three great locations for viewing black and brown bears.

 

Bears of South-central Alaska:

Bears can be seen in the zoo as well as in the wild.

 

The hard copy print out showed a wildlife reporters rendition:

 

A bear hunter in Alaska holds the paw of a bruin with 3- to 4-inch claws. The hunter sent a message to the U.S. Forest Service in Juneau with attached photos of a grizzly killed in Prince William Sound in the fall of 2001. Other reporters wanted to know if the photographs were real.  “Are you able to verify for us that they are indeed genuine and true?”

 

“Forest Service Officials marveled at how giant bruins grow,” stated the Anchorage Daily News reporter.

 

“Think about it. This thing on its hind legs could walk up to the average single-story house and could look on the roof at eye level.” There was never a question that the brown bear that a 22-year-old hunter shot to death in October 2001 on Hinchinbrook Island was huge. The grizzly measured 10 feet, 6 inches from nose to tail. Its front claws were 3 to 4 inches long. An Alaska master guide estimated the bear’s weight at up to 1,200 pounds. (The average brown bear weight for Hinchinbrook is less than half that.) One photo shows the hunter holding the bear’s paw as it obscures almost his entire chest. A second photo shows him crouching like a child behind the bear’s massive, bloody head. It’s over one thousand six hundred pounds . . . 12’6” high at the shoulder,” stated the reporter.

 

“The young hunter was stationed at the time at Eielson Air Force Base. He shot it while deer hunting with several partners. The Anchorage Daily News published the story about the kill in December 2001 accompanied by the two photos taken by one of Winnen’s partners, an Eielson Staff Sgt. Print and TV reporters wanting to know if the story was true. They’ve gotten calls from media all over the world regarding the bear shoot. People who are skeptical and want confirmation of their doubts. About 30 percent of the messages come from hunters who are all but certain the tale is a tall one,” according to the reporter.

 

Somewhat concerned over the circumstances of the bear’s death, the story morphed into what terms as an urban myth – about a killer beast taken down by a Forest Service employee. According to the men on the hunt, “they were out deer hunting when a large world class Griz charged from about 50 yards away,” according to one of the hunting party members. “The guy unloaded a 7mm Mag Semi-auto into the bear and it dropped a few feet from him. This thing was still alive, so he reloaded and capped it in the head. It’s a world record. It’s been reported to the authorities, this bear, had killed a couple of other people. The Forest Service’s Web site provides a news release about the hunt and the rumors. But now a third photo is making the rounds, a picture that shows a person’s body, the bear’s victim,” the reporter said.

 

Another reporter said. “I have no doubt the Internet is keeping the story of the killer bear moving.” (Anchorage Daily News reporter 907-257-4582. This story was published May 7, 2003).

 

Here’s the story as told by the hunter, a 22-year-old crewmember of the 18th Fighter Squadron at Eielson Air Force Base near Fairbanks.

 

“Four hunting buddies were dropped off on Hinchinbrook Island in the heart of Prince William Sound by an air taxi on a cool, rainy Oct. 14 morning. Hinchinbrook is a 165-square-mile island near Cordova with an estimated population of about 100 brown bears, giving it the distinction of harboring the highest density of bears of any island in the Sound,” according to the reporter. The reporter continued, “A Cordova area wildlife biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game was also informed of the kill. Four to six bears are killed by hunters on the island every year, though rarely one of more than 400 pounds. The hunters weren’t there to hunt bear. Instead, the hunting buddies packed for a week of hunting for Sitka blacktail deer on the remote, wooded island. They did, however, pick up a permit to shoot a bear just in case.”

 

Reading further of the hard copy information…

 

Loaded for bear:

On day two of the group’s hunt, the skies cleared at 8:30 a.m. The three hunters and the Eielson Staff Sgt. set out to follow a creek bed upstream looking for deer. One of the men was carrying a .300-caliber Winchester Magnum. Another was carrying a significantly more powerful .338-caliber Winchester Magnum in case a bear crossed their path. In the creek, they spotted a deep pool with 20 salmon circling.

 

‘’By this time, the … run was over and the salmon were looking pretty nasty,’’ the first hunter said. ‘’We started thinking that we were looking at a bear’s dinner plate.’’ That got the group in ‘’bear mode.’’ Two of the men continued following the creek upstream until they came to a small island ringed with thick brush. Some end-of-season blueberries clung to the surrounding brush. In the middle of the island was a spruce tree larger than what a man could fit his arms around. At the base of the tree were signs that an animal had tried to dig a hole. About 9:30 a.m., the first man glanced upstream. Forty yards away was a big brown bear with all four paws in the creek, flipping over logs looking for salmon,” said the hunter. ‘’He’s a shooter,’’ the second man said under his breath.

 

‘’So I started getting in the zone,’’ said the first hunter. ‘’When I am going to take an animal, I am really concentrating. We racked shells into our guns and took off our packs and left them by the tree.’’ The hunters stated that they moved a few feet upstream. About halfway between them and the bear was a large fallen tree. The first hunter said, “When the bear crawls over that log, he will present his vital areas and we’ll take him,” he recalled. ‘’I brought the rifle up to take a shot, but the bear moved over the log like it wasn’t there. I didn’t have a chance to get a shot off.’’

 

As the bear kept coming along the creek, the two hunters momentarily lost sight of him in a thicket, so they retreated back to the big spruce.

 

‘’We were sitting there concentrating when, a few seconds later, he pops up right in front of us, about 10 yards away and he was coming toward us,’’ the second hunter said. ‘’I don’t know if the wind was in our favor or what. We were dressed in camouflage. He might not have seen us.’’

 

‘’I put the scope on him. I wanted to hit him in the chest, but all I seen was nothing but head,” said the first man. My partner said, “Shoot! Shoot!’’ ‘’I aimed for his left eye, but the bullet takes an arc and I hit about two inches low in the side of his muzzle and into his brain. He buckled backwards and raised his head like he was going to howl at the moon, but nothing came out,’’ according to the first hunter. ‘’I put two more rounds in the vital area, then three more after that. Six total. It was amazing” “We watched for a few minutes, I reloaded and my partner brought his gun up on him,’’ he said. ‘’I approached from the rear and poked him in the butt to see if he was going to jump, but he didn’t move. He was dead.’’ ‘’It was amazing when I got close to him,’’ the first hunter said. ‘’I picked up the paw and it was like, ‘good God.’ The thing was as wide as my chest.’’

 

The two hunters spent a fair amount of time getting photos of the bruin. One photo shows his statement is no exaggeration. The paw is almost as wide as the hunter’s chest and sports 3- to 4-inch-long claws. A Master U.S. Forest Service guide said he was impressed with the group’s story.

 

‘’Sounds like he did everything perfectly,’’ Gerald Glenn said of the reported incident. ‘’I can’t overemphasize how many people screw that up, even after you explain it to them.”

 

According to the news report, after the kill, the men spent six hours skinning the bear – and trying to drag its hide and skull back to the Forest Service cabin they had rented. The meat was left behind because grizzly meat is generally considered inedible. Assuming the bear’s hide weighed more than 200 pounds. They took turns carrying it, but eventually put it on a tarp and tried dragging it together. When they were within a half-mile of the cabin, they summoned their hunting partners and the Eielson Staff Specs. And a flight chief based at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage. The hunters spent the next three days at the cabin working with his knife to scrape fat from the hide. He packed the hide with salt for the return trip to Fairbanks.

 

Once back, the shooter took the hide and skull to the state Department of Fish and Game to get it sealed, as required by law. Unofficially, Fish and Game records show, the skull scored 28 and 8/16 inches. Skulls are scored for size by combining the width plus the length. The skull of this particular bear was 10 11/16 inches wide and 17 13/16 inches long. This is called a green score, which is the unofficial score until the skull dries and can be remeasured. The Boone and Crockett Club, which uses a 16th-of-an-inch measurement system to keep records on the biggest animals shot in the world, requires that bear skulls dry for 60 days before an official measurement is made. A tooth was pulled from the jaw of the skull by a state biologist so the bear can be aged. One of the Biologists said he suspects the bear was 15 to 20 years old. He added that the bear was no stranger to guides who know the area. ‘’One of our local guides has been after it a couple of times,’’ she said. ‘’Its luck finally just ran out.’’

 

Bears are hard to hunt on the brushy and heavily wooded island, the biologist said, because the season doesn’t open until Oct. 15, after the salmon run is over. The bears have largely dispersed from salmon streams by then, making them harder to find. World-class brown bear, the hide measures 10 feet, 6 inches from nose to tail. While it is impossible to know exactly how much the bear weighed, master guide Want has measured and weighed dozens of Kodiak brown bears over the years. Based on the measurements and information he got from Winnen, he suspects the bear weighed between 1,000 and 1,200 pounds. By any standards, that’s a world-class brown bear. All brown bears taken with skulls that score over 28 inches are eligible for listing with Boone and Crockett, the official record keeper for North American trophy hunters.

 

In Alaska, the biggest brown bears are found on Kodiak Island and the Alaska Peninsula. The record Alaska brown bear – killed on Kodiak Island in 1952 – had a skull that scored 30 12/16. Only 19 bears have been shot with skulls that scored over 30 inches since the early 1900s, according to Boone and Crockett. ‘’Twenty-eight is the magic line,’’ said another examiner. ‘’Anything over 28 inches has everyone sitting up and taking notice.’’ The fact that this bear came from Prince William Sound makes it even more remarkable, the examiner added. “Once a hunter told me that he’d shot the biggest damn bear he’d ever seen, after the bear drops, they stand up and pat themselves on the back, and the animal gets up and takes off while they are standing there.”

 

‘’This bear is exceptional. It’s unbelievably unusual,’’ one of the guides said. ‘’It’s safe to say that it is more than double the average size of brown bear coming out of Prince William Sound.’’ The years between 1970 to 1999, about 600 male brown bears were killed in Prince William Sound, according to state Fish and Game records. Of those, only two had skulls that scored more than 28 inches. The vast majority had skulls that scored 22 to 23 inches. Bears with heads that size, typically weigh 350 to 400 pounds, they added.

“The hunter is having the skull preserved and mounted on a plaque. The hide is with a taxidermist, being made into a rug. With the small rooms in base housing, it’ll be more like wall-to-wall carpeting,” the first hunter said. “Meanwhile, the e-mails keep circulating. The genesis appears to have been a radio talk show in Fairbanks on which the four men appeared. Photos from the hunt showed up later on the radio show’s Web site. And that appears to have been what got the Internet humming,” the second hunter said. ‘’I can guarantee you, in a year or two, someone will tell him (the shooter) how big the bear was and it will be up to 1,800 pounds. And when he tries to correct them, they will call him a liar.’’

 

Statistics for the brown bear taken on Hinchinbrook Island in October 2001:

 

  • 1,000-1,200 lbs. – Estimated weight

 

  • 15-20 years – Estimated age

 

  • 10’ 6’’ – Hide measurement from nose to tail

 

  • 10 11/16’’ – Skull width

 

  • 17 13/16’’ – Skull length

 

  • 28 8/16’’ – Skull score (length and width combined)

 

  • 30 12/16’’ – North American record brown bear skull score

 

  • 19 – The number of bear skulls with a score above 30’’ in Alaska since 1904

 

(This story first appeared in the Anchorage Daily News.)

>

(Leon Unruh / Alaska.com, reports…) Bears of the Interior/Alaska.com:

 

Denali shuttles carry passengers into grizzly-viewing country for many people; Denali National Park offers the most reliable chance to see bears. Although other wild areas have more bears and greater concentrations of them, those areas often require an expensive boat or plane trip. Denali, however, is just a two-hour drive from Fairbanks and a four-hour drive from Anchorage and is reachable by plane, train and bus. Denali has 300 to 350 grizzlies on the north side of the Alaska Range and an undetermined number on the roadless, undeveloped south side. The south side has some salmon streams and may support more bears than the relatively bleak north side. Studies are being performed to determine the number of bears. Most visitors see the bears by riding on shuttle or other tour buses along the park’s single road into the back country, a 95-mile adventure of mostly gravel road that slips across valleys and along cliffs to Wonder Lake and then Kantishna. Because human interaction is kept to a minimum, the bears are still the king of the open tundra and wander curiously and unafraid across the land and sometimes up to the buses.

 

Unlike Katmai National Park, McNeil River State Game Sanctuary, Pack Creek or Anan Creek wildlife areas, Denali has no “bear viewing area.” The bears don’t congregate because there’s no centrally located food source, such as a salmon stream. Denali’s grizzlies – the visible ones – don’t have a high-protein diet that includes salmon. They get most of their food from plant roots and berries and from catching small animals and occasionally moose and caribou. (Sometimes bus riders get to watch a moose-bear battle unfold). The grizzlies have blonde coats, are smaller than their coastal counterparts and are sometimes called Toklat grizzlies, after one of the park’s large river valleys.

 

Professor Francis added, “Bears appear just about anywhere in the park. Especially in the backcountry and in closed-in areas (such as trails through streamside willow breaks), hikers should take precautions such as making plenty of noise and watching that they don’t surprise a bear. Hikers who cross between a sow and cubs face great danger. Bear-resistant food containers are required for backcountry campers. The containers can be rented in Anchorage or borrowed from the Backcountry Desk at the Denali visitor’s center. Denali also has black bears, particularly in forested areas and not so much along the Park Road. Campgrounds may be visited by black bears.”

 

“Bears of Northern Alaska…Big white, brown bruins patrol the Arctic. Polar and grizzly bears are present in Arctic Alaska, which covers the upper third of the main part of the state. Polar bears are considered marine mammals because of the amount of time they spend on the Arctic Ocean’s pack ice and in the water chasing ring seals. Occasionally they come into coastal towns and villages such as Barrow, Wainwright, Point Hope and Kaktovik. The best viewing time is during the spring and fall whaling seasons, when whale carcasses may attract bears to shore. Visitors should be aware that polar bears have no fear of humans. Bears have walked into villages and field camps and have killed several people and mauled others. Hikers must be alert, and Halloween has sometimes been postponed in Barrow when bears posed a danger to trick-or-treaters,” stated Professor Vernon Rockford – the teaching Professor and Carnivore Expert.

 

“Barrow, the country’s northernmost town, is reached by commercial air service from Anchorage and Fairbanks. Expect to pay Alaska Airlines between $440 and $570 for a round trip in summer. Kaktovik, on Barter Island just north of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, is reachable from Fairbanks; expect to pay about $640 for a round trip on Frontier Flying Service. Barrow, which is also a destination for birders, has several hotels and restaurants. Taxi drivers can take visitors to likely polar bear-viewing areas in season. Kaktovik has accommodations that are more modest and local residents may be persuaded to take visitors on a tour. Grizzly bears are found in the Brooks Range and other mountains in the southern Arctic region. Hunters and raft riders along the Noatak River often meet up with grizzlies. In Gates of the Arctic National Park, adventurers are encouraged to carry bear-resistant food containers. Sharp-eyed travelers along the Dalton Highway may see bears,” said Gerald Glenn – Forrest Ranger.

 

The hard copy report continued to show more data on Bears of Western Alaska:

 

Katmai, Kodiak and McNeil River offer outstanding encounters.

 

Western Alaska – specifically, southwestern Alaska and Kodiak Island – is famous for its brown bears. Some are giants.

 

Katmai National Park, Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge and McNeil River State Game Sanctuary give observers great – and generally safe – close-up looks at bears weighing more than 1,000 pounds as they feed on salmon heading upstream.

 

Gerald Glenn continued his report to the panel, “Reaching these locations requires a flight to the Alaska Peninsula or a plane or ferry ride to Kodiak; they’re not on the highway system connecting Anchorage, Fairbanks and Homer. Small planes ferry passengers to Katmai and McNeil River from Anchorage, Kenai and Homer.”

 

“Visitors to the parks and refuges can camp, stay in public use cabins or live in relative luxury at wilderness lodges. Although the bears may be entertaining, they’re also wild animals and dangerous, as rangers and lodge owners will warn visitors. Sometimes hunters get good looks at enormous bears – and some nearly lose their lives. Nevertheless, following general precautions can make bear viewing safe,” he said.

 

The ranger continued, “Bears of Southeast Alaska, Brown and Black species thrive along inside and along passages on many trails. Southeast Alaska has three accessible viewing locations for viewing brown and black bears. Anan Creek on the roadless mainland southeast of Wrangell. Pack Creek on Admiralty Island west of Juneau and Fish Creek near Hyder, northeast of Ketchikan on the Portland Canal. Fish Creek is the only site accessible by road, but it’s still somewhat off the beaten path. Hyder is in extreme southeastern Alaska and is reachable by road only through Stewart, British Columbia. Fish Creek is freely accessible. Visitors to Pack Creek and Anan Creek will need permits in addition to transportation by air or water taxi.”

 

A further report by Leon Unruh (Alaska.com), on Bears of South-central Alaska states:

 

Bruins appear in Anchorage zoo; on trails and along streams, Wild bears sometimes appear on the fringes of Anchorage, where the city adjoins the sprawling Chugach State Park. Children walking to school in Anchorage, Eagle River and Girdwood occasionally see black bears near the schools. Bears, mostly black, raid garbage cans and chicken coops and eat dog food carelessly left outside overnight. In Seward, hungry and curious bears appear out of the Resurrection River Valley and other “bear highways. Bears also pop in on Cordova and Valdez, among other South-central towns.

 

Most of the time, black bears are reluctant to meet people and can be shooed away. Juneau has particular problems with its numerous black bears, however. The city even created a committee to deal with the bears. Hikers in Chugach State Park, Chugach National Forest and Kenai National Wildlife Refuge need to be aware of bear habits and habitat. Bears show up during the salmon runs, usually mixing peacefully with anglers. Look for bear warning signs along the Kenai, Russian and Little Susitna rivers and along many creeks and trails with road access.

 

Homeowners and wildlife officers shoot several bears each year in defense of property, and many other bears are tranquilized and moved out of the area. Each species of bear is represented at the Alaska Zoo in South Anchorage.

 

Although bears species usually aren’t mixed, the Alaska Zoo in South Anchorage has had great success with Ahpun and Oreo. Two cubs – one polar, one brown – grew up together and until May 2003 shared a large enclosure. Both bears frolicked in the pool, which is deep enough to allow underwater viewing through thick windows. But Oreo, the brown bear, started showing a mean streak, so each of the two bears now gets the run of the cage on a split shift. Other sections of the zoo have brown and black bears, as well as a blue-tinted variety of black bear known as a glacier bear.

 

The Alaska Zoo is located at 4731 O’Malley Road, about two miles east of the Seward Highway. Look for the blinking light above the road at the zoo entrance.

 

The mayor, appearing perplexed, paradoxed, disconcerted, and satisfied wanted to also know how this beast was to be dealt with. She looked directly a Glenn…and then at Talis. Her denoted glare returned to Glenn. “What would you suggest we do about this animal – sir?” Talis moved to respond. Finkles threw up a hand with all five digits to signal a halt to the interruption. “I can stalk and trap this creature with a certain level of assistance,’ replied the ranger. Without looking for confirmation from the commissioner, Captain Samuel assured the ranger of his support. Captain Noodles barked, “You have no authority to offer anything to this man!” The two captains glared at one another, one was filled with hatred and bitterness toward the other. Captain Samuel looked to his commissioner for support. The commissioner, in his usual divergence and belied acquiescence, gazed vicariously elsewhere. Mayor Finkles deftly replied, “Yeah, but I do!” The mayor beamed a sardonic, dour, and non-faggoted glare at the commissioner and offending captain, well aware of their canted behavior and practices.

 

“We need to deploy all resources in the capture and removal of this animal…at all cost.” She fiercely replied to the oppositional attitude of Noodles’ baneful disposition.

 

The cop sneered and steered his gaze towards the commissioner. Talis just stood there. He appeared to be a military type style of attention. The mayor had complete control over the situation. “Let’s hear it, Ranger!” The mayor sat down amongst the commissioners and zookeepers.

 

“While I was in Alaska, there was talk of a group of foreign speaking men. The locals referred to them, as German or Russian sounding…could’ve been Yugoslavian – I don’t know. These individuals got off a bus – a Greyhound or Trailways or something…a caravan of about fifteen or more trucks – the tractor-trailer type – and vans came barreling down the highway. They were all painted black. They stopped and picked up these foreign guys. The foreign guys, about six of em…looked like professors of some sort.” The ranger stood and walked around the table to which his entourage sat. He positioned himself in the center of the room. He stood atop the Mayoral Municipal Insignia for the City of Philadelphia. Glenn faced the mayor sitting with the commissioners and zookeepers seated on the right…Genailia and Vernon, to the left. “This black vehicle caravan disappeared in the region beyond Kodiak Island. It’s been said, they’ve never been seen since.” The mayor asked, “How long has it been since this group is suspected of supposedly not being seen by the locals?” “This sighting occurred about three years ago,” said the ranger. Gerald stood erect and strong in his appearance. His muscular frame was in a relaxed stasis as his gaze bemused, swept the people in attendance. Glenn continued explaining what the locals of Kodiak and Aniak, Alaska, told him. He stood in an august fashion. The attention of the audience was completely his to enlighten. With further consternation, the ranger apprised them of his investigation of factual implications.

 

“These so-called professionals,” he stated, “were brought to that location to perform experiments on the animals of that region.” What type of experiments were not known, thought Glenn. The ranger continued speaking. He spoke of several hunter-trappers who were included in this party of clandestine black vehicle trekkers. Their equipment, mainly bear traps were being off-loaded from the trucks. Teams of hunters fanned out throughout the area encircling Kodiak Island, according to the locals. “Now if I saw what these guys were doing…was I supposed to doubt the word of the local inhabitants?” The ranger thought out loud, “It takes about a couple of years for a bear cub to start maturing – can you imagine what kind of things mad-scientists could do to change things on the planet?”

 

“If they are working for the government or some secretive DNA sadist group, what would they be doing to the bears and their cubs? I’ve seen one of their teams at a secluded and highly dense area on Kodiak Island, bring a full- grown Kodiak bear into one of the metal buildings. The bear appeared to be sedated while lying in the larger than usual steel cage. The cage was atop a large open bed black colored truck with an attached crane on the backend. They have three maybe four single floored metal fabricated structures in their camp. I believe they are laboratories,” said Glenn. “What in the hell were they going to do with that bear?”

 

The bear in the park is a monster. I suspect that it is also a product of the surreptitious people within that encampment,” exclaimed the ranger. The ranger vehemently expressed his belief.  “I believe that this bear is an experiment that has gone wrong…because it has escaped and is now here with us – eating, living, and hunting.”

 

“The only way to kill it and/or capture it is to find out what’s in it…what’s been done to it…what made it so big…and what is its weakness? In all probability, its intelligence has been altered as well!” The ranger turned his statuesque form to face the representatives of the Philadelphia Zoo. He focused a stoic stare that brought a peevish blush to their faces. “What kind of shit are you putting in these bears?” “What kind of shit is in this bear, fellas?” “What in God’s name are you all up to?” “Tell us now…now before someone else is mauled to death by your damned meddling with nature and God!”

 

Til Next Time…

 

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