The black bear cub is near its mother's hind leg.
In Wednesday's Vicksburg Post was an article about a baby black bear that was found in Warren County. The cub was only a few inches long when found on Davis Island in the MS River. It went on to state that, “Prior to this cub, the last cub was tagged in Delta National Forest in March of 2008,” said Brad Young, Black Bear Program leader for the MS Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.
The federal preserve is north of Warren County. Davis Island, all private property, is south of Vicksburg, and on the Louisiana side of the river, but remains part of Mississippi.
The infant male weighed about 2 pounds when Young discovered it during a routine changing of the 5-year-old mother’s tracker collar last month, Young said.
The department tries to change the collars every two years as well as check for new cubs, he said.
“We’ve checked five females this year, and she was the only one that had a cub. This was her first,” said Young. “He was the only cub that we’ve documented. He wasn’t more than a few inches long.”
Young said the cub will remain with his mother for the next 16 to 18 months before venturing out and will be collared when he weighs about 100 pounds.
“There’s a chance, since he’s a single cub, his growth rate might be faster,” Young said.
Black bears are listed as endanger in Mississippi. Harming them in any way is illegal. Most are found in river counties, including Sharkey, Issaquena and Yazoo. The population in Claiborne County is growing near the Big Black River, Young said.
“Anywhere up and down the MS River, there are bear sightings coming from the wooded area,” said Young. “Other sightings were concentrated in Biloxi and Gulfport."
Davis Island, which includes crop and timberland, bears the name of Joseph Davis, whose Hurricane Plantation was located there. His brother, Jefferson Davis, also had a plantation, Brierfield, on the island and was farming there when told he’d been chosen president of the Confederates States of America. The scene is depicted on one of the Riverfront Murals at City Front.