Chief Ranger Barnett, while hunting preditory animals along Horse Creek, (elevation about 2400 feet) found the tracks of a bear that was digging skunk cabbage roots from the beaver swamps and feeding upon them. This was on March 10th, at least three weeks earlier than we have ever found them coming from hibernation at this elevation before. It is possible that he had been flooded or otherwise driven from his den as the spring has not been unusually warm. "The early bear gets the skunk cabbage."
This week the Naturalist found signs of what he judged to be the Little Spotted Skunk (Spilogale putorius) along the Nisqually River near Bear Prairie Point. This skunk, which is the only one listed in the park, is quite rare. Although on a few occasions we have had unmistakable evidence of their close proximity we have never had the pleasure of a meting with "his lordship."
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