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Flooding continues to impact wildlife in the Delta

Officials estimate 1,500 bears are in Great Smoky Mountains National Park along the...
Officials estimate 1,500 bears are in Great Smoky Mountains National Park along the Tennessee-North Carolina border.(Source: Great Smoky Mountains National Park/National Park Service (custom credit))
Updated: Mar. 26, 2019 at 7:19 PM CDT
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MISSISSIPPI DELTA, MS (WLBT) - Flooding continues to impact wildlife in the lower Mississippi delta, including our state’s black bear population.

Hunter Fordice says his farm land in Issaquena County, which is home to several Louisiana black bears, is mostly underwater.

((Source: Big Bend National Park))

They were first documented in 2007, which was the first time in nearly 40 years.

A mother and two female cubs, found in their den, were tagged and fitted with GPS tracking systems.

Over the next two years, wildlife officials confirmed that those two female cubs also reproduced.

Sadly, in the great flood of 2011, a mother who was spotted earlier in the year with two cubs, was seen without her young.

Fordice said, “The adult bears can climb a tree, sit in a tree or swim or whatever, but the cubs normally don’t come out of the den until April or May so they’re very small and at this point, they’re unable to survive.”

Fordice says the backwater flooding this year is about five feet higher than it got to in 2011.

He says the animals that are really stressed are the thousands of deer who have been forced to higher ground.

There’s also a growing concern about the spread of chronic wasting disease as the deer congregate in high numbers.

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