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It’s me, Human, it’s me, said the Fox - UPDATE February 1, 2023

Gray Fox
Gray fox Gray fox

Last night the Gray Fox was here in force. It not only came up onto the second floor deck, he or she did it some 30 times and finally posed for "Eyes" to snap super pictures. With a nice black background at ground level, he was looking and listening for danger when he spotted "Eyes of the Night" in the window some ten feet away. He didn’t run. He looked directly at her and the camera as she snapped. Coming up onto the second floor deck, he again saw her in the window. Again he didn’t run. He (or she) took a nice piece of chicken looking out of the corner of his eye as the picture shows. I hope he keeps coming and learns to ignore us as much as the others eventually did (and as the bears did in my research).

Shadow - August 2022Shadow - August 2022

Mentioning bears made me think about the history of Eagles Nest Community and how this community saw the truth about black bears long before I did. Long before it was known to science, this community saw that bear problems usually are not because of habituation and food-conditioning. Problems are usually caused by hunger. Residents solved that problem with diversionary feeding, got to know the bears, even become protective of them, and the community became known for its lack of problems and peaceful coexistence. As I’ve said before, in years of berry crop failures, when bears elsewhere are going house-to-house being shot as nuisances as they looked for bird seed and garbage; bears around Eagles Nest are being welcomed at a dozen diversionary feeding sites and staying out of trouble. As a result, they live longer. Study bears here are among the oldest black bears in Minnesota and include the second oldest black bear on record (Shadow) at 35 and counting. The picture is of her this past summer on August 15.

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

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