grizThis is fascinating. It’s a hidden wildlife camera tracking grizzly bears in Montana. And this one captures 5 minutes of a single wolf harrassing a momma grizzly and her two cubs. By the end of the cilp, it almost looks like the wolf wants to play.

(It’s the second most fascinating wildlife video I’ve ever seen.)

I’d meant to do a post about John McCain’s bizarre fixation with grizzly bear DNA. The whole complaint is basically fraudulent — and I’ll write about it later—but I got sidetracked by these remote camera videos.

Update 10/3: Well, I see my thunder’s been stolen on this one. On the hustings, McCain has repeatedly used a $3 million dollar funding earmark for grizzly bear DNA as evidence of the worst kind of pork barrel spending. I was going to blow up this claim as patently absurd, but it’s already been done by Bill Schneider at New West (and reprinted at Crosscut); and by John Aloysius at US News and World Report; and by Eric Olson at Scienceline; and by Coco Ballantyne at Scientific American; by the editorial board at the New York Times; and probably about a dozen other places too. But the best one may be this piece by Joel Achenbach at the Washington Post.

The upshot: the $3 million was an extremely cost-effective way to calculate grizzly populations in some rugged areas of western Montana. Biologists turned up more grizzlies than anyone expected: in short, the money revealed the suprising health of one of our nation’s most magnificent endangered species. Now, officials are evaluating various “de-listing” proposals. Plus, John McCain actually voted for the bill. But whatever.

Mostly, I’m just bummed that I didn’t get to use the title I had cooked up: “Grizzly Bears: The Other White Meat?”

Photo by Tom Smith, US Geological Survey