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Bears, Beavers, and No Shots Yet - UPDATE September 10, 2022

RC

No shots yet, but it’s only 5 PM with nearly three hours to go.

It was a pleasant day so far watching cubs rest 80 feet up in the safety of big white pines, Spanky drink from the pond, and 23-year-old female RC hang close in the safety of this spot.

SpankySpanky Chinas cubCinna's cub Chinas cubCinna's cub

In the last couple days beavers began re-using their old 1977 beaver lodge. In the last few years, beavers have built four additional lodges around the lake that is outside my desk window. Beaver LodgeBeaver LodgeNow they are coming full circle. Throughout the summer, looking at the view across the lake, I saw no action at the lodge that is in the middle of the picture at the water’s edge below the tallest pine. Then on September 8 a beaver towed a leafy branch to it to begin their winter food cache. Today, the lodge is suddenly black with new mud as shown in the close-up shot. I remember the old days when a beaver cam there showed me a lot that I had never seen reported before. Beaver Lodge close-upBeaver Lodge close-upI’ve told some of this before, and it plays in a video in the Ecology Hall of the North American Bear Center, but I could hardly believe it back then when I saw muskrats join the beavers, paw through their fur, presumably for a special insect that winters in their fur, and then see a mink come in carrying a freshly killed muskrat and eat it in front of the camera. The beavers also brought in branches from their winter cache that was just outside under the ice and let me see them gnawing off the bark and cambium between naps. Some of that became a video that played for years in the Duluth Aquarium.

Thank you for all you do,
Lynn Rogers, Biologist, Wildlife Research Institute and North American Bear Center


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