Chap Mei Mexican grizzly bear
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The Mexican grizzly bear (Ursus arctos nelsoni) is a presumed extinct subspecies of the Brown bear. It is named after American naturalist Edward William Nelson who secured a series for the U. S. Biological Survey. The holotype was shot by H. A. Cluff at Colonia Garcia, Chihuahua in 1899. The Mexican grizzly bear was one of the heaviest and largest mammals in Mexico. It reached a length up to 183 centimeters and an average weight of 318 kilograms. Due to its silver fur it was often named "el oso plateado" (the silver bear). The Mexican grizzly bear was smaller than the grizzly bears in the United States and Canada. The general color was pale buffy yellowish varying to grayish-white, grizzled from the darker color of the under fur. Specimens in worn pelage varied to yellowish-brown and occasionally to rusty. The longest fur hairs were on the throat and the flanks. The belly was sparsely haired lacking the thick under fur of the back and the flanks. The Mexican grizzly bear inhabited the northern territories of Mexico in particular the temperate grasslands and mountainous pine forests. Its previous range reached from Arizona to New Mexico and Mexico. Its diet consisted mainly on plants, fruits and insects. Occasionally it fed also from small mammals and carrion. One to three cubs were born all three years. The first Europeans to come in contact with the Mexican grizzly bear were the conquistadors in the 16th century when Francisco Vásquez de Coronado went on an expedition to find the Seven Cities of Gold. His trudge began in Mexico City in 1540 and went north to New Mexico and the Buffalo Plains in the modern-day U.S. states of Texas and Kansas. Because the bears preyed on livestock from time to time they were considered a pest by the farmers. The Mexican grizzly bear was trapped, shot and poisoned, and had already become scarce in the 1930s. Its former range decreased to the three isolated mountains Cerro Campano, Santa Clara, and Sierra del Nido 80 km north of Chihuahua in the state of Chihuahua. By 1960 only 30 of them were left. Despite its protected status the hunting continued. By 1964 the Mexican grizzly bear was regarded as extinct.