Debate on Grizzlies in California continues

Debate over whether or not to reintroduce grizzly bears in California is gaining momentum, as the U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service is mulling a proposal for the same.

In the 1800s, grizzly bears could be spotted swimming to Angel Island and roaming a large area of the Golden State. The grizzly bears were given the status of state animal in 1953. The wild grizzly bears had been wiped out from the state's land due to hunting and change in habitat. The last grizzly was seen in Sequoia National Park in 1924.

In June this year, the Center for Biological Diversity urged the U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service to meet its duty under the Endangered Species Act and work to reintroduce grizzlies to a massive segment of their suitable habitat in the West, including the Sierra Nevada.

Noah Greenwald, director of endangered species at the Center for Biological Diversity, said, "Grizzly bears are one of the true icons of the American West. We shouldn't be closing the book on grizzly recovery but beginning a new chapter, one where these amazing animals live wherever there's good habitat for them across the West."

As per fresh estimates, there nearly 1,500 to 1,800 grizzly bears across the U. S., and most of them live in the area of Wyoming's Yellowstone National Park and in some parts of Montana, Idaho and Washington state.

While many Californians worry that reintroduction of grizzlies could pose threats to tourists and other people; the Center for Biological Diversity argues that incidences of attacks by grizzly bears are very low. The chances of being injured by a grizzly bear in Yellowstone are just 1 in 3 million.

Grizzly bears were listed as a threatened species in 1975.

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