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Bear News from Sharon Herrell - UPDATE September 6, 2020

This week's news, Tasha enjoys an apple, Lucky's eye in the sky and Ted's day out.

TedTedEarlier this week a few Ely residents shared their abundant supply of apples with our bears. It is interesting when our bears find apples on the mound, around or in the pond, apples become a treasured treat. If we put them in their dinner or breakfast bowl, apples aren't as welcome as grapes.

Tasha has surpassed her 2019 hibernation weight as of Friday's weigh in. Given the fact that we do many Behind The Scene tours it's ok; she will just have to dig a bigger den for herself. She is seen in her picture enjoying an apple she found on the mound. We are hoping that one of the bears or all the bears become responsible for planting a small orchard in the 2 1/2 acres.

LuckyLuckyTed had another nice day out of his enclosure. He ate grass for a while on the mound, had words with Lucky and walked down to the viewing area. He now weighs 651. He is spending more time marking near his old den. He also uses the rich cedar oils to keep bugs away and add glow to his sleek new fur.

The climb to peer across the other enclosures is a short jump and climb for Lucky. He easily did it and stayed there for a short time just looking around. Don't you wonder what goes through their minds? Lucky is strong and goes up with little loss of energy. He has only taken down the chokecherry tree and bent over the ash tree.

Holly posed in the Black-eyed Susans and Wild Mustard as one of our Pond Chat Moderators, Marge, snapped a picture with the PTZ cam. The flowers around the pond add such beautiful background to an already beautiful bear. Holly has slowed down as have all the bears. We are in fall transition with our bears. They will soon get straw in preparation for denning.

Fall transition is the last phase a bear goes through before hibernation. From our website: Fall transition a is a period after hyperphagia when metabolic processes change in preparation for hibernation. Bears voluntarily eat less but continue to drink to purge body waste. They become increasingly lethargic, resting 22 or more hours per day often near water. Active heart rates fall from 80-100 per minute to 50-60 per minute and sleeping heart rates fall from 66-80 per minute to less than 22 per minute."

HollyHolly TashaTasha TashaTasha


We are proud to announce that we will have a Retirement Celebration for Ted on September 25. The time to be announced. If you'd like to be a part of his celebration and send him a card or email, please send it to me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with a short one line note by September 23. Your retirement sentiments will be re-written on a large card addressed to Ted. Ted will have special a watermelon “cake” filled his favorite fruits. Ted has many fans let's show him how much he is loved. We have other fun surprises planned for Ted so mark the date and will let you know once we have more details.

Thank you for all you do,
Sharon Herrell, Sr. Bear Keeper

Thank all of you and to Sharon for this update,
Lynn Rogers, Biologist, Wildlife Research Institute and North American Bear Center



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Ely, Minnesota 55731 USA

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