Who Done It?

I discovered these tracks as I eased my canoe along the shores of the Salmon River in Idaho.

Photo by Dennis Deck

Who made these tracks? [ View Answer ]


If you did not immediately guess this one, make sure you saw the clues. The hind foot (on right) has five toes showing (though the fifth is faint) and substantial claws. The toes are aligned in an arc rather than a straight line.

The front foot also has five toes with claws but the fifth does not show in this track. The front foot is angled inward (pigeon-toed) relative to the hind foot. Close inspection reveals that the interdigital pad is wedge shaped.

This black bear walked along the river's edge for some distance. I suspect that this was a part of the bear's regular foraging route.

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