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Marsha Barbour assisting in rescue of bear cubs
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 7, 2007

First Lady Marsha Barbour Assists with Black Bear Expedition

On Friday, March 2, Marsha Barbour, Mississippi's First Lady and the Honorary Chairperson of Wildlife Mississippi's Advisory Council, assisted the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in darting, tagging and releasing a female black bear with two cubs. The expedition took place in Issaquena County on land owned by Hunter and Dan Fordice, the sons of former Governor Kirk Fordice and First Lady Pat Fordice. The land is enrolled in the Wetland Reserve Program.     

This is the first birth of a black bear in the Delta of Mississippi in approximately 40 years.  

The female bear was darted with a tranquilizer, her radio collar was replaced, weight, blood serum and other samples and measurements were taken to aid bear biologists in determining population characteristics, age and gender demographics, movements, habitat preferences and reproduction. 

According to Barbour, "This is an historic day for Mississippi. From our Native Americans who relied on black bears as a source of food, clothing and goods for trade with European explorers, to Holt Collier and President Theodore Roosevelt, to the Teddy Bear, black bears have long played a role in our state's natural heritage. It is important that all of us follow the conservation leadership of Dan and Hunter so that we may continue to conserve black bears and restore their habitat for future Mississippians to enjoy."        

Two years ago, Barbour helped dedicate a new national wildlife refuge near Hollandale, Mississippi, to the memory of Holt Collier. The 18,000‑acre Holt Collier National Wildlife Refuge is the first ever to be named for an African‑American.

Wildlife Mississippi is a non-profit, conservation organization founded to conserve, restore and enhance fish, wildlife and plant resources throughout Mississippi. Their web site is www.wildlifemiss.org.

Contact:
James Cummins
WILDLIFE MISSISSIPPI
(662) 686-3375

P.O. Box 10
Stoneville, MS 38776
Ph: 662.686.3375
Fx: 662.686.4780

www.wildlifemiss.org

Marsha Barbour, Mississippi's First Lady and the Honorary Chairperson of Wildlife Mississippi's Advisory Council, holds one of two cubs recently born in the Mississippi Delta. This is the first birth of a black bear in the Delta in approximately 40 years. 
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