Two years ago today, Lucky went for his first swim of the year. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0TaWE3IpjW8. It was 50°F, and he found open water following a week with temperatures mostly in the high 50’s and as high as 60°F. We should see those temperatures soon now this year.
In Pennsylvania, mom is licking drops from the ceiling of her den under the deck. Here is the picture of that and of her licking drops from a leaf that we missed yesterday. As she licked the ceiling in today’s photo, she is using the same spot on her tongue that they use to touch nuts and berries to draw them into the mouth. Using that spot about an inch back from the tip of the tongue, they can touch several hazelnuts and easily bring them into their mouths clinging to the tongue. I suspect they activate suction cups to do that. That spot on the tongue is not sticky to the touch. It’s something no one knows. I’m only guessing that it is suction cups.
The face to face open-mouthed picture looks like play but reminds me of the reciprocal tongue-licking that they use as a form of bonding. I don’t know if that has been seen with these bears yet.
It was nice to see the video of the vigorous play that ended with a contented nursing session. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sqBl7NqbR8.
I always look forward to these courses.
A nice thing today was getting my good camera back from repair. While I was seeing if it would focus on a log, I unexpectedly saw a mink face. Almost startling. I clicked. It felt good.
Thank you for all you do.
Lynn Rogers, Biologist, Wildlife Research Institute and North American Bear Center
Wildlife Research Institute
145 West Conan Street
Ely, Minnesota 55731 USA