Ted, Deer and Jane Goodall - UPDATE January 26, 2018

A Mod captured this 1-minute video of Ted raking a bit and then burying his face in the straw on this 41°F day. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNLxeTG2i2M Broken AntlerBroken Antler

About his straw-chewing, a Lily Fan remembered Lily bringing conifer branches in her den in 2010 and chewing them up to make more bedding in the days before Hope was born. I can’t tell if Ted is doing that with his straw or swallowing the chewed-up pieces. Maybe someone will be able to tell.

My phone went on the blink after a power surge and it is up and running again. On my cell phone, I sometimes get messages over a week after people leave them. I don’t know why that happens, and I didn’t want anyone to think I was blowing him or her off.

Out the window, Broken Antler showed up after days of absence. I suspect he went to a yard with better food. The date mash is all eaten up with no way to get more. Today I made the yard popular again, though, by buying whole corn (plus suet for the birds). Many of the deer in the neighborhood are losing their antlers now, so I was a little surprised to see he still has his.

Bears will be showing up within 3 months now. It’s possible (maybe) that Shadow has given birth to a cub or two by this time. We’ll see in spring. Looking forward to the Black Bear Field Courses. Fifty-four out of the possible 64 people have registered now—some new, some back for more—each one adding his or her own flavor to the experience.

Another thing I’m looking forward to is catching up with Jane Goodall at a fund-raiser on March 24. I haven't talked with her for years, but she has always been gracious and genuine. She was the pioneer of trust-based research and actually getting to know research animals as individuals. She found, as did I, that you can’t get to know these animals without recognizing the feelings that they have, their personalities, how each one relates to researchers in a different way. That’s one of the things participants in the Black Bear Field Courses feel. We know that amidst all the objectivity we, as researchers, have for these special, trusting animals that we can’t spend as much time with them as we do without having feelings for them. For the most part, we see that we are inconsequential to them. They trust us but have their own lives. They mostly ignore us and don’t spend any unnecessary time with us. They have their own agendas. But as we see how complicated their lives are and all they are dealing with to make a living and raise offspring and watch for danger while maintaining territories, we feel empathy that does not interfere with our objectivity. One of the things I look forward to sharing with participants is the differences in the individual bears they meet. When people learn directly from the bears, no expert can tell them they are wrong.

Thank you for all you do and all you share with others about bears.

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

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