With temperatures in the mid 90’s, water became the place to play. Play that started with gentle splashing and pawing quickly turned into vigorous but gentle biting. Play partners would pause for a bit and then get into it again. The longest play was among four amigos that travel together for that purpose. Bears that have enough food often become play partners rather than competitors. Play can be between bears large and small. Often the bigger bear lies on his back and the smaller bear gets on him and ‘attacks’ in gentle play.
They also played in the tub. One sign of play is ‘airplane ears’ with ears spread out flat as in the tub picture.
They also played with water vegetation.
This was the most playful day I’ve seen in a long time.
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