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Traces found of bear thought to have died out decades ago

By Olga Gertcyk
30 April 2015

Scientist uncover dens, holes and paw prints of rare animal that once had ‘zero’ rating in the endangered list.

Scientists doubted it still existed. Picture: drawing from the Altai Red Book of Endangered Species

Traces of bear that disappeared 30 years ago and was thought to have been extinct have been found in the Altai Republic. The so-called Saylyugemsky bear had been given a ‘zero’ mark in the local list of endangered species because it had not been been registered for decades.

Scientists doubted it still existed, yet evidence that the species is alive and well were found in the Saylyugemsky reserve, in the basin of the Karasu River.

Saylyugem bear

Rare archive photo of Saylyugemsky bear. Picture: Igor Ivanitsky

More than 20 sites where the bears had been digging holes were mapped by experts, with some of them as much as 60cm deep and three-metres long.

An unfinished den two-metres deep was also found at the foot of the Saylyugem range, along with numerous imprints of paws.

Traces found of bear thought to have died out decades ago 


Traces found of bear thought to have died out decades ago


Traces found of bear thought to have died out decades ago

Scientists doubted it still existed. Pictures: Denis Malikov, Saylyugem National Park 


Saylyugemsky bears were first mentioned in a research paper by Genrich Sobanskyi, who asked for them to be put on the endangered list in 1996.

He noted the bears might be ‘relatives’ of Tien Shan bears who live in a similar habitat. 

But there is not enough information collected on Saylyugemsky bear population yet to speak about it in more detail.

Comments (1)

...need data on sightings of Siberian Mastodon/Mammoth and SiberianTiger...am formulating a file for 20th and 21 Century Sightings...thank you...
Clifford Anthony Paiva, USA
15/04/2019 07:49
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