Sometimes, I feel thankful for so many things that I just have to say something. Last week, we thanked the volunteers as part of Volunteer Week. Then I get thinking about the dedicated crews at the Bear Center and the Wildlife Research Institute. Today, I was talking to a resident in the Eagles Nest Community who made me feel thankful all over again for the many people who are working hard for the study bears here and have learned to accept bears as part of life in the Northwoods. Today, I saw community emails and videos criss-crossing the airways about who the bears are and who they are related to. Then I see the video of Lucky climbing a dead tree, making a log toy, and playing vigorously with it. It reminded me of how thankful I am that the bears there are happy and stimulated. They eat wild foods in addition to the healthy foods that Sharon and the staff give them. They play with natural forest objects like I’ve seen wild bears do. Their minds are stimulated by each other, by the changing seasons, and to the extent possible by the staff. We do not see the mindless pacing that is common in zoos. Many people have joined together to make all this happen for bears and a better understanding of them. All of that stimulates my mind and gives me a feeling of thankfulness that makes me say to all of you:
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