WILDLIFE -- I posted the notice Friday when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that experts had confirmed a bear photographed by a backpacker in the North Cascades in October was indeed a grizzly.
A news report by Craig Welch of the Seattle Times provides much more detail on this rare bit of documentation.
Before this, the last officially recognized sighting was in 1996, when a biologist happened on a bear and a cub in the Glacier Peak Wilderness Area and was able to make a cast of the adult's track.
"Our records go back to the mid-1950s, and the last official photo we have is of a dead bear that was killed in 1968," said Doug Zimmer, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife spokesman in Olympia, who monitors a hotline for grizzly-bear sightings.
Joe Sebille, of Mount Vernon, was hiking in the park in October when saw the bear south of Highway 20 in the upper Cascade River drainage, on the western slope of the range. He made the photos with a cell-phone camera.