It’s been five days since anyone has seen the fox named Pretty Girl. On the 12th she was curled up on a snow bank showing no fear as I drove almost up to her in order to back into my usual parking place. She knew the program. It started her day. It started my day, too. When I got out, she came toward me, saw I had nothing for her, and went up the steps to meet me on the second floor deck for breakfast. She was back often through the day, stalking squirrels but settling for treats from my hand if I had something she wanted. If my offering was not what she wanted, she sat down five feet away and told me with a look to do better. Throughout the day, I wondered why she was so often on alert toward the driveway and garage.
I haven’t seen her since. The next day about mid-afternoon, the bobcat appeared and seemed to know what it was doing as it investigated the fox’s abode in the garage. We now know more about the fairly fresh tracks we saw at the time. A trail cam that overlooks the scale showed video of the bobcat walking by at 12:51 PM—probably about the time the exiting fox made the fresh tracks. No tracks since. Also no tracks or sightings of Pretty Girl at the neighbor’s place where the bobcat also made an appearance. We’re all hoping Pretty Girl didn’t get trapped somewhere.
Out the window as we watch birds, deer, and squirrels, we are always on the lookout for minks, pine martens, and fishers, and now doubly hoping to see Pretty Girl who we know and miss.
On a happier note, the author of last summer’s Smithsonian Magazine article about the 15 best small towns in America gave a talk for Ely’s Tuesday group. Afterward, I clicked on the article https://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/15-best-small-towns-visit-2021-180977798 and scrolled down past 10 cities to see the coverage of Ely. Super. The seven pictures of Ely showed how right the author was in including our town. They began with (1) a great picture of Ted on his preaching log, followed by (2) the dark, starry sky that is part of the world’s largest internationally certified Dark Sky Sanctuary, (3) a canoe on beautiful water in the million-acre Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, (4) sled dogs that give Ely the moniker ‘Sled-Dog Capital of the World,’ (5) a beautiful white wolf at the International Wolf Center, (6) Donna’s flowers in a picture of the North American Bear Center, and (7) Ely’s main street. It was all so great that I immediately renewed my subscription to Smithsonian Magazine.
Happy 25th Birthday, Ted!! And congratulations to Lynda Young who was drawn as the recipient of Suzanne (Pinky) Claude’s painting of Ted as shown to the left and also in this 11-minute video https://www.facebook.com/NorthAmericanBearCenter/videos/1597307793963816.
Fittingly, "Taught" caught handsome Ted tidying up his straw yesterday—perhaps getting ready for his birthday? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxvppmWCli8.
Thank you to everyone who contributed toward his food and care!
Thank you ALL 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