Holly figured out how to beat the Minnesota cold, and the Den-Watchers captured every move. Actually, to go back further, Judy Thon called Lynn last evening and said Holly was exploring deeper into the bunker den. Maybe she had adjusted to Lucky being just on the other side of the wall and no longer felt she had to remain watchful at the entrance like wild bears often do. At 2:19 AM, with temperatures flirting with 30 below (F), she wanted more protection. By 2:49 AM, she had burrowed down into the deep straw and was nearly covered, and that’s where she is now. We’re glad to see her adapting like this. We’re wondering how wild bears are faring that don’t have bales of straw to bury themselves in like Holly and Honey do. We suspect Lucky has done the same from the mound of straw we see. Ted has remained a little more exposed. With his larger size, his body has a more favorable surface to mass ratio. We will be interested, though, to compare his overwinter weight loss with Honey’s and Lucky’s.
Agencies have released more about Holly’s beginnings. Appalachian Bear Rescue posted a statement at https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=734083976604197&set=a.134263716586229.23235.130619636950637&type=1.
That enabled us to post more information describing her video and chat page:
Holly was born in Arkansas in January 2013. A fire separated her from her mother and she was raised by someone for several months. In September 2013 Arkansas wildlife officials gained custody of Holly. They contacted the Appalachian Bear Rescue for help in caring for her. After several months she was returned to Arkansas and it was determined that she could not be returned to the wild. Authorities contacted the North American Bear Center in Ely, MN and asked if they could provide her a home. The NABC was happy to help. Holly arrived at the NABC on December 27, 2013. She shares a 2.5 acre natural habitat with three other Ambassador Bears, Ted, Honey, and Lucky. We look forward to watching Holly play with the others, enjoying the pond, learning all the places to look for food, both natural and what we provide. This camera shows her in her first den (man-made) as she acclimates to her new surroundings.
While we are pleased to give her a home, Holly’s chances for a life in the wild were ruined. We urge people who come across what they think are orphaned cubs to call wildlife authorities. Please DON’T take the bears home. If you want to help them, leave them alone, and make the call.
The story of Holly continues.
Thank you for all you do.
—Lynn Rogers and Sue Mansfield, Biologists, Wildlife Research Institute and North American Bear Center
All photos taken today unless otherwise noted.
Wildlife Research Institute
145 West Conan Street
Ely, Minnesota 55731 USA