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Grizzly bear mystery washes up near Bellingham

Washington wildlife officials are trying to figure out how the body of a grizzly bear wound up on the coast near Bellingham.

The remains of a 1-2-year-old grizzly bear were discovered last week on a beach north of the Cherry Point Refinery. No signs of obvious trauma were found.

It's an odd sighting. Black bears are common in Washington. But grizzlies haven't been around these parts in many, many years. The state Fish and Wildlife Department says they used to thrive in the northern cascades, and in eastern Washington. But they were hunted out the region and have largely disappeared. Today, they are more often found in British Columbia or near the Idaho boarder.

Grizzlies are now listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.

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