San Bernardino County Museum

Grizzly Bear exhibit opens at the San Bernardino County Museum

Over the centuries, the relationship that Californians have had with the grizzly bear is one of dualities – expressed in fear and fascination. Although extinct in the state since the early 20th century, the grizzly has long been a central character in California’s history. Illuminating the story of the grizzly is the exhibition “Bear In Mind: The Story of the California Grizzly” which opens at the San Bernardino County Museum today, Oct. 1, and runs through Nov 24. Scientists estimate that 10,000 grizzlies once lived in California, perhaps the densest population of brown bears on the continent. The California grizzly possessed characteristics that we hold dear: independence, adaptability, resourcefulness, intelligence, and strong maternal care. However, through increased human settlement, loss of habitat, and hunting, nature and development clashed, and the seeming incompatibility resulted in misguided, intolerant, and violent means of eradicating the animal in the state. By the early 1900s the California grizzly had vanished and could only be seen on the state flag. Although the loss of the California grizzly was a tragic lesson, we are not too late to save other threatened and…

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