New Tree, Fun in Tub - UPDATE September 12, 2017

New tree at NABCNew tree at NABCThe new cedar tree is in place, and the bears will see it tomorrow morning. The staff caught the move in this 3:54 video Low Impact Excavators skillfully made the move. We’ll see how the bears react. I understand it might be a week before the pulley and feeder are in place. This tree is tall and has its foliage. We’re trusting that the wind doesn’t take it down. Low Impact hasn’t let us down yet.Braveheart & cub 7/28/15Braveheart & cub 7/28/15

This beautiful day reminded me of another beautiful day a couple months ago when one of the local feeding stations put out a big tub of water for Braveheart and her cubs to enjoy; and they did, as we can see in this photo from the landowner. Fifteen-year-old Braveheart and I go way back. She was born to Blackheart in 2002 in an open den on the ground surface. I was able to bond with her a bit at the den to the extent Blackheart would let me, and Braveheart became trusting at several of the feeding stations. She lives her life in the woods and has never become the subject of a nuisance bear complaint. Braveheart & cub 7/3/17Braveheart & cub 7/3/17She is an example of how different black bears are from how they are usually portrayed. In the woods, she is difficult to approach until she is sure it is safe. I took a reporter and press photographer with me once, and it took two hours of her hearing my voice and circling us (out of sight) before she decided it was okay. Another time, when I was alone in a big patch of dense brush, I homed in on her telemetry signal, calling to her. I couldn’t see her but knew she was close. Then she moved. She was 2 feet away. Braveheart’s pulse is the slowest of the adults I’ve measured in summer—usually in the 70’s. I was surprised how blustery she is in dens with cubs, although both times she was like that I had someone beside me. In her 15 years, she’s had 7 litters—20 cubs: 13 males and 7 females. Her latest litter (this year) is 3 males—Alex, Andy, and Junior. There are many stories I want to tell about her in the book I’ll start next month.

Blackheart curled around cub (maybe Braveheart?)Blackheart curled around cub, 
maybe Braveheart?
Our trail cams recorded Lily and her two cubs as recently as today. Other mothers with cubs who are apparently okay are 17-year-old Donna, 15-year-old Braveheart, 12-year-old Ursula, 6-year-old Daisy, 6-year-old Wendy, 4-year-old Ellie, and 3-year-old Sadie. Last evening, a trail cam also recorded June’s daughter Ember who was orphaned on September 27, 2013.

Blackheart in den in 2002 (Braveheart was a cub)Blackheart in den in 2002,
Braveheart was a cub
On another subject, I like the video clips our video editor is pulling for the banner on the Lily the Black Bear Facebook page. These are special highlight clips that are among the best Sue Mansfield video-taped over the years. They are a delight for me to see.

Thank you for all you do.

Lynn Rogers, Biologist, Wildlife Research Institute and North American Bear Center