Home Back Forward June 7, 1998: Back at Kambalnoe




The 3 cubs on June 5

(like any other image, you can click on it to enlarge)


The orphan that joined the three cubs


Yes, I am finally down at Kambalnoe after spending 8 days sorting through all the red tape that goes on forever and costs more money every year. Finally with the help of my friend, Olga, and Tatiana from the Comittee for Ecology and Nature Conservation we had our cargo released. On June 5, we flew to Kambalnoe. The lack of electricity in Petropavlovsk was a real problem: not only for sending out E-mail. Charlie was there along with Russian biologist Vitaly Nikaelenko and Stas the interpreter. Vitaly is from Kronotsky Preserve and is assigned to supervising our work this year. Charlie was having a difficult time, mostly because the Russians continue to assume we will be unsuccessful with the cub program. I spoke to Charlie only as we unloaded the new sunflower seeds from the helicopter along with our food for the season. He was off to PK for 5 days or so to finish permissions with the preserve and bring back his plane. I am alone now until he returns.

Charlie's journal May 11,1998:

Arrived at Kambalnoe Lake by M8 helicopter. Cabin has not been visited since I left on Dec. 3,1997. Everything is in good condition except for a lot of snow. After lighting the fire I climbed up on the roof to look around this white world. I spotted a bear about 1km up the creek to the NW. Vitaly had just told me the cubs were probably far away or dead, the casualty of predation. When I looked carefully at the bear I realized there were two more laying in the snow. They were our cubs!!! I hiked over to them. They ran away at first but when I called our usual greeting, they came running over. Chico came right up to me and I scratched her neck. They looked bigger and leggier, thin, but quite lethargic.

Charlie ended up hiking to the cubs over the following 3 weeks to bring them sunflower seeds . Chico was dazed from lack of food. The pine bushes were still 2 feet under the snow. They gained energy quickly.

When I arrived the cubs were out on the lake. But I counted 4. What was happening?

Charlie told me a 3 year old orphan had joined our three. They thought it was a female but weren't sure and named her/he Pedrusky. I call him Paddi as I think it is a boy who likes our beautiful cubs-all girls.

Well Charlie has been gone two days now. I took the cubs some more seed yesterday.. They were a bit lethargic again. Today they were full of energy. I put some seeds in their old pen but the wild orphan came into the yard with them which I didn't like. He has no manners around humans and I don't want the food association. I am very cautious around this wild cousin that has joined up.

I am sending two photos - one of the 3 cubs on June 5, the day I first went to them after Charlie left; -the second of their wild cousin.

Upon returning to Petropavlovsk, Charlie worked closely with Vitaly Nikaelenko to forge a very good working relationship with Kronotsky State Preserve and the Central Committee for Ecology and Nature Protection. Finally after so many reservations, not only is our research about coexistence approved formally for two more years, but also the orphan cub reintroduction program.

Please let me know if all this is working out. I'll send more images in a few days. Yes the filing of the photos has proved the biggest problem so far, but I will work it out I hope. I haven't been able to use the computer for a week and am rusty. Big bear hug to you all

© Lenticular Productions Ltd. 1998