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Black Bear Population Growing in Mississippi

Last week, Travis Coopwood, daughter of Ole Miss graduate Scott Coopwood, who is publisher and owner of Delta Magazine and Delta Business Journal, accompanied her family and a team from the Mississippi Bear Restoration Program to take the vital signs of two bear cubs that were spotted with their mother in western Bolivar County on the banks of the Mississippi River.

Travis Coopwood with a bear cub in Bolivar County, Miss.
Travis Coopwood with a bear cub in Bolivar County, Miss.

The mother was tagged and collared with a transmitter last summer and via satellite and GPS readings, the team was able to locate her den. After the mother was administered a tranquilizer, the team went into the den and checked the cubs. The male weighted four and a half pounds and his sister weighed four pounds. They were very healthy, as was the mother.
Thirty minutes later, the cubs were returned to their mother. The Bear Restoration team also put a camera in place with an Internet feed. Anyone wishing to see these cubs can go to the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks website, search for their bear program, and then look for “Bolivar County”. Or Click Here for all live black bear feeds.
“From 1920 until the early 90s, black bears were almost extinct in Mississippi,” says Scott Coopwood. “They are now coming back in great numbers and we, in our region of the state, are very happy to see these beautiful creatures wandering in our woods. I’m not certain of how many bears we now have in the state, however, it is estimated that in our county (Bolivar County) we have around 20.”
The Coopwood family with Mississippi bear cubs.
The Coopwood family with Mississippi bear cubs.

– Information and photos courtesy of Scott Coopwood

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