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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/497

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479
DEATH GULCH. A NATURAL BEAR-TRAP.

lying scattered about the floor of the ravine about a quarter of a mile from the point where we had left Cache Creek. Approaching cautiously, it became quickly evident that we had before us a large group of huge recumbent bears; the one nearest to us was lying with his nose between his paws, facing us, and so exactly like a huge dog asleep that it did not seem possible that it was the sleep of

PSM V54 D497 The gulch and its latest victim.jpg
Looking down the Gulch—the Latest Victim, a Large Silver-Tip Grizzly.

death. To make sure, I threw a pebble at the animal, striking him on the flank; the distended skin resounded like a drumhead, and the only response was a belch of poisonous gas that almost overwhelmed us. Closer examination showed that the animal was a young silver-tip grizzly (Ursus horribilis); a few drops of thick, dark-red blood stained his nostrils and the ground beneath. There proved to be five other carcasses, all bears, in various stages of decay; careful search revealed oval areas of hair and bones that represented two other bears, making a total of eight carcasses in all. Seven were grizzlies, one was a cinnamon bear (Ursus americanus). One huge