I first saw Spanky on May 2 when he weighed 278 pounds. On May 5 or 6, Spanky maybe got hit by a car or something. His right front leg dangled with no control. It swiveled like it was not connected at the shoulder. I could only believe he would lose it. The last time I saw him, on May 18, his leg still looked hopeless. Somehow, he made it to a favorite haunt some 4 miles away. A week ago word came that he was putting some weight on it. Today, he showed up back here. I thought I recognized him, but this bear was walking almost normal. It couldn’t be. He saw a bear to chase away (either 2-year-old Flynn or 4-year-old Chloe) and went after it on the run! (Photo) Amazing. It was Spanky. He is going to be okay. Now at 261 pounds, he’ll probably want to eat extra. The nice portrait of him by Mark Peterson shows the face that makes everyone want to help him.
The coyote is still around but is not eating baby woodchucks, considering that we saw all four recently.
Charlie Brown just stopped by to show how he is doing shedding his bleached brown fur and growing in new dark fur. Suddenly he ran. His new friend Desi appeared but Charlie apparently didn’t recognize him. Extra caution is common among yearlings newly on their own.
I just got a call that family breakup has occurred for 22-year-old Donna and her yearlings Eva and Elvis. Last evening they were all together. Now it’s mating time and she’s on her own. Three of her last four litters before Eva and Elvis she had four cubs. She took a little break with Eva and Elvis. Next spring we’ll see if she continues to wind down at 23 or not. It could be her second to last litter. Few black bears give birth after 25. But she is a descendent of Shadow who set the record for late births at 28. Maybe Donna has more left in her than we think.
Good rain today for the berries.
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