Happy Mother's Day and Bear Center Report - UPDATE May 13, 2018

Senior Bear Keeper Sharon Herrell sent her weekly report and pictures from the Bear Center:HollyHolly

Bear News - May 13, 2018

Happy Mother's Day to our human moms and our new bear families. I do hope we have an abundance of new cubs born this 2018 season.

Lucky wiith stickLucky wiith stickIt was sad to learn this past week the world lost a good bearman, Charlie Russell. Charlie and Dr. Rogers shared the same beliefs about bears and both walked with bears; Charlie with grizzlies and Dr. Rogers with black bears. Their studies have produced solid information and facts about bear behavior. He was also a good friend and will be missed.

Here at the bear center we had a clean up and fix up day on Thursday. With the help of Bear Educator, staff, and volunteers, we cleaned the big enclosure, worked on the pond pumps, and took down the electric fencing in front of the viewing windows. The window den was also removed and each piece of the window den was carefully marked and placed in a safe area.

Spring cleaningSpring cleaning Holly and Tasha playHolly and Tasha play Electric fence removedElectric fence removed

The bears have been playing hard. Lucky entertained himself with a long, large branch on Friday. See video https://youtu.be/NRmdFF63xJ4. He and Holly played together in the cedar trees. Later, Holly played with Tasha near the Haven den. Tasha has been enjoying play with Holly. Lucky in treeLucky in treeWith the electric fence down it opens up the viewing area allowing the bears to freely come to the windows. Lucky was the first to explore the corner end and Tasha left a nice paw print for all to see just how tall she is and how high she can reach.

The mound area is now covered with sweet green rye grass. After Ted takes his walk to the pond area, he stops to enjoy eating grass on the mound on his way back. I have noticed all the bears nibbling along the way to the viewing area.

A question was asked: Do bears become dehydrated during hibernation?

Ted eating snow in 2017Ted eating snow in 2017The answer: No, they eat snow as Ted was observed during his winter rest (see photo to the left). Wild den cams showed us Lily crunching icicles. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BcBpdxSvCTM

LuckyLuckyThey never seem to drink water quickly here; although both Lucky and Holly enjoyed the water as they washed their faces when released from their dens this spring. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kV8matnHGLk

Thank you for all you do and for allowing our bears to visit with you each day.

Sharon Herrell, Senior Bearkeeper
North American Bear Center

Herring gull with woundsHerring gull with woundsOut the window, it’s mating season for the herring gulls, and it looks like this big male ran into some competition. He was somewhat battered a couple days ago and worse now. He’s a regular and was peacefully with a female a few weeks ago, deferring to her when it came to food, even allowing her to take food (bologna) from him.

Happy Mother's Day!

Thank you for all you do.

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