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April 11th & 12th Avalon FaireByron T Bear appeared in Kilgore, Tx over the weekend at the Avalon Faire http://www.avalonfaire.com/ helping to raise awareness of the growing black bear population in East Texas. The bear met several folks during the faire in the company of his Wrangler, Dorothy (seen together in this photo) to accept a generous donation pledged by the Director, Keith Waddoup, to aid in our conservation and educational efforts.
We are deeply grateful for the consideration shown us and met several hundred people during our visit. A great time was had by all.
Nov. 20 Mascot.org becomes a contributor to the Byron T Bear FoundationMascot.org is known for providing costumed actors around the world. With their generous donation made through using the services of The Byron T Bear Foundation more will learn about bears and how to avoid conflict with bears living within one's own area.
Nov. 12th - Fayetteville, Arkansas
Byron Bear invited to visit the Arkansas Equine Foundation Fundraiser
Held east of Fayetteville (neighboring the beautiful Ozark National Forest) this fundraiser helps the AEF, which works hard to find good homes and rehabilitation for horses.
Some AEF Supporters meeting Byron Bear
The Arkansas Equine Foundation held a Fundraiser this Sunday to help in the goals of that foundation. Said Carole Shannon, owner of Elkhorn Springs Arena and Stables "AEF has a couple of missions. The 1st is a 2nd chance career for horses - those horses who can no longer be taken care of by their owners for some reason or another, have been misplaced, abused, etc. AEF find homes for these horses, but in the meantime care for their needs before placement. The 2nd mission is to promote reading literacy through The Black Stallion Program. This program focuses on 1st and 4th graders by offering them a reading curriculum comprised of the hardback book The Black Stallion and other goodies."
Carole Shannon and Rebecca Gilpatrick rode in exhibition to Shania Twain's "Any Man of Mine" and Jose Aviles rode Gringo to "La Bamba" showing off Gringo's dancing skills.
Byron Bear, Carol Shannon with Gringo (a Creamello Quarter Horse)
Grant Zebra "Barcode", Animal Trainer Jose Aviles' and Byron T Bear, bow together
November 9 - Cherokee Country Arts Association make Generous donation towards bear conservation
Today a generous donation was made by the Cherokee County Arts Association after Byron's appearance in Baxter Springs, Kansas, meeting with school children and later participating in the Renaissance Festival which is held on the grounds of the Baxter Springs (the Lions) High School. Byron Bear's appearance was sponsored by the Arts Association itself.
Cherokee County, Kansas is at the far south eastern corner of Kansas bordering on Oklahoma. Each year the first week of October the whole town turns out to provide a very family oriented Renaissance Faire.
Byron Bear meets the Fairies during the Baxter Springs, Kansas event.
Said Phylis Abbot, spokeswoman, "We are way down here in Kansas and about the only Arts Organization available to this area of Kansas".
The Cherokee County Arts Association is a non profit organization and we thank them for the generous gift they have made towards conservation of bears, through inviting Byron to their festivities in Southeast Kansas.
Today the Byron T Bear Foundation received a generous donation from the Stephens County Fair. The Stephens County Fair is the longest operating county fair within the state of Oklahoma and is located in Duncan, Oklahoma. While well known for their agricultural success, their history goes back to the Chisholm Trail. Among the notable citizens of Duncan's history is Erle P. Halliburton whose, upon his death in 1957, company had 201 offices in 22 states and 20 foreign countries and continues to thrive today.
It is folks like these who show their concern for responsible conservation practices that keep our state's wild-life heritage rich.
Sept 30 - Wichita, Kansas
Byron Bear found favor with the King and Queen during the Great Plains Renaissance Faire held in Wichita, Kansas by Eagle Realms. This year found a large selection of vendors and featured heavy combat and jousting and entertainments for all ages.
Surrounded by a beautiful lake, Sedgwick Park creates a wonderful and ideal site for the legendary pomp and circumstance of England in the 1500's.
Eagle Realms' Great Plains Renaissance Faire was more than just a faire and provided very gracious donations to Byron Bear's adopted charities.
CHINA sees baby boom of Giant Pandas
August 13 - Sichuan Province
According to Zhang Zhihe, head of the Chengdu Giant Panda Reproduction and Research Center, Over 30 females across the country have mated this year, and seven of them have given birth to 11 cubs, including four sets of twins.
This weekend a 13 year old mother panda named Eryatou, gave birth to 130 gram cub and on Monday a 218 gram baby panda was born at the Wolong Giant Panda Research and Protection center making this the heaviest baby panda ever known. Wolong is also located in Sichuan Province.
November 18- Byron attends the Castle's Boareshead Feast in Muskogee, Oklahoma.
Each November, Muskogee Castle has a grand feast in the manner of the Renaissance of olde. Byron Bear attended meeting old friends and new. "The food was incredible" said one patron visiting this annual event. Entertainment included Belly Dancing, Bedlam Bards, Queen's Gambit and period dancing by the participants. A grand night and a chance to rub elbows with the Royalty.
The Byron T Bear Foundation would like to thank, leading Muskogee Citizen, Jeff Hiller for his continued support of our cause.
Queen's Gambit perform
Byron Bear meets an old Friend
Black Bears slowly re-claiming old territories
Black Bear resting in tree
Bears are commonly cited as indicator species because they’re sensitive to habitat loss and are often used by resource agencies to evaluate and monitor habitat quality and quantity.
Black Bear are especially vulnerable to extirpation and may not gain populations sufficient at current estimated population levels to allow for a harvestable surplus of bear within Oklahoma.
According to wildlifedepartment.com run by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation
"Black bears, like other Oklahoma wildlife are a part of or natural heritage. It is remarkable that a few rugged and remote areas still exists within the state that are capable of supporting them. Bears were once common in Oklahoma—with a little help from us, they can again become an integral part of Oklahoma’s wildlife resources."
According to Mike Shaw, veteran conservationist and supervisor for the Wildlife Division of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife and Conservation Title 800 must be changed to allow for hunting of black bear. In May of 2006 black bear were nominated to be reclassified under 800:25-19-3 by Senate Bill 1296 proposed by Sen. Frank Shurden and Rep. Purcy Walker. The Senate floor amendment authorized the Wildlife Conservation Commission to declare an open season on mountain lions, black bears and river otters. The bill was approved, passed by the House and Senate and signed into law by the Governor.
Title 800 Chapter 25
. If favorably reviewed by Department personnel, a public announcement to gather public input on the proposed action will be requested. Based upon the information contained in the nomination packet, recommendations made by the Nongame Technical Committees and Council and the public input, the Department may make a recommendation to the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission for appropriate action
Unlike Mountain Lions and River Otters which have an annual breeding season and were also included in the bill, black bear have a late breeding age for both male and females. Female bears may not begin breeding until four to six years and have low yield of offspring and furthera delay of up to two years between breeding cycles because of the period the mother spends with it's young.
. Mike Shaw further said that hearings concerning the alteration to Title 800 Chapter 25 will be open to public and announced this winter.
According to research provided us by the Oklahoma Department of Interior, we feel that black bear should be re-classified as a Category I Species of Concern as defined by title 800.
(i) Category I - a native species with a presently stable or increasing population that current evidence indicates is especially vulnerable to extirpation because of limited range, low population or other factors.
Research is showing an increasing population according to OSU but within a limited range. According to the Oklahoma Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit the current population of Black Bear indicates a re-colonizing population of bear within the Oachita National Forest of Oklahoma.
In 1907 bears were an important part of the ecosystem of Oklahoma but were nearly gone until 1958 when 254 wild caught bears were brought from Minnesota and released into the Ouachita National Forest over a period of eleven years,(these are an east to west running chain of mountains which Arkansas shares with Oklahoma's southeastern region) The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation requested the Senate to begin a study to determine what today's current population is.
According to research obtained by Byron from Dr Leslie Ph.D. (leader of the project at the Oklahoma State University), from the efforts made 46 years ago, today we are seeing a re-colonizing population of bears within that specific region.
The study (by Dr. Sara Bales Ph.D.) concluded that a larger sampling area should be made and an ongoing study is currently taking place at OSU at the request of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation under the supervision of Mike Shaw.
Bridgewater Renaissance Faire
Autumn Great Plains Renaissance Faire a Boon to Bears
Members of the Board of Directors sanctioned under the bylaws of the Byron T Bear Foundation, now a 501 (c) (3) organization, received the official 'go ahead' to increase revenue and step up appearances of Byron T Bear in public venues.
The company was originally created to help with the education of people in bear country about bears and how to avoid conflicts with them. 75% of all profits made were being given to Byron Bear's adopted charity. The company goals were of greater scope than that and also focused upon preserving bears and bear habitat throughout the world.
The creation of this foundation underscores the goals of the original company, Byron T Bear Enterprises, which was to help preserve bears and habitat and to bring education on how people can prevent coming into conflict with bears.
Byron T Bear Foundation spokesman, Curtis Newsom of Tulsa, Oklahoma stated,
"Byron Bear will step up the efforts to educate people about avoiding conflicts with bears and help teach about our nation's work and programs for conservation of important habitat and ecosystems."
"I'll be helping Byron to carry his message and we'll help the people learn the facts, so that our children will be able to see what our generation has the chance of seeing."
"Ceasar" during an emergency examination before being taken to the sanctuary.
"Emma" at the sanctuary. Emma was rescued along with Ceasar.
China continues to allow "Bear Farms"
According to Peoples Daily Online since 2004 a few of the Bear Farms have been shut down and that China would no longer issue permits to allow for Bear Farming.
The International Fund for Animal Welfare have been working for several years trying to eliminate these practices and according to news sources in China it has mainly been TCM practitioners who create the demand for bear Bile. According to the same publication, TCM experts now say there are many herbal alternatives including synthetic medicines which are just as effective.
In 1980 an estimated 7000 bears were found in "Bear Farms' in certain parts of Asia and through efforts of IFAW and The World Society for Protection of Animals as well as Animals Asia Foundation these practices are slowly being eliminated. Aid to these organizations will greatly help end this uninformed and inhumane practice.
What is the Quality of life of a Bear Farmed Bear?
Quoting from the People's Daily
"Holed up in wire cages so small they couldn't move, each bear had a rusty metal catheter inserted into its abdomen - an incision prone to infection. From that, bile was continuously milked for use in Traditional Chinese Medicine, or TCM. "
The IFAW insists that
more than 400 Bear Farms still exist in China although China has said
it is now open for suggestions and has stopped issuing licenses for
bear farming. So far IFAW have rescued 6 of these unfortunate
bears and relocated them to a bear sanctuary in Guangdong Province in
southern China. These bears can no longer be released to the
wild but can now at least have some life being a bear instead of
trapped in a cage an unable to move. *source cctv.com
The IFAW insists that more than 400 Bear Farms still exist in China although China has said it is now open for suggestions and has stopped issuing licenses for bear farming. So far IFAW have rescued 6 of these unfortunate bears and relocated them to a bear sanctuary in Guangdong Province in southern China. These bears can no longer be released to the wild but can now at least have some life being a bear instead of trapped in a cage an unable to move.
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