Tasha: The Rest of the Story (and more) - UPDATE March 26, 2019

Sharon wrote:
Spencer and I walked through the enclosure to visit Tasha's den. She was inside and huffed at us twice and was reluctant to show her face. She has a day bed just above her dug den, approximately 20 feet away. Tasha in denTasha in denThere were fresh balsam branches on top of the snow for her bed. The snow is about 3 feet deep in the forest before her den, firm enough to not break through while walking on it. Tasha has paths from her den to the pond area and also to the cub tree.
Sharon Herrell, Sr. Bearkeeper

WoodchuckWoodchuckThe recent video showed her vigorous and energetic, but she is still in the transition phase between hibernation and full metabolism. It was interesting that she was very lethargic today and not interested in food enough to come out of her den.

A 42-second video from two nights ago https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwYGKEVf_Sk shows Tasha breaking through the snow crust that partly melted from the warmer daytime temperatures. Early today, Sharon and Spencer stayed on top of it after last night’s freezing temperatures.

Holly was caught on camera today with a rubber bowl she must have snuck into her den last fall. Now it has become a play toy to wile away the time when Lucky is not playful enough in her final weeks of denning. The noise of her bites and manipulation of the bowl doesn’t seem to wake Lucky up. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkEXmEDdLoQ

Herring gullHerring gullIn Pennsylvania, the cub seems coordinated enough to follow mom out of the den, but mom raked more leaves into their bed as if she is intent on staying awhile yet as shown in this 10-minute video https://youtu.be/L9fgxauIUSs.

Out the window, a gull appeared for the first time this year. I couldn’t figure out its name, but it was familiar enough to let me walk close and put bologna two feet from it. The fox, mink, and woodchuck have been coming regularly and learning our ways and what it takes to get a piece of bologna. The woodchuck only eats sunflower seed hearts, though. Big moths were flying tonight, and the fox was catching them. The mink named ClearThe mink named ClearI want to see what kind of moths they are for the record. The mink was coming up the steps just 8 feet ahead of the fox, coming fearlessly and taking bologna, but after a couple times like that we heard a shriek from the mink when the fox came too close to where the mink was eating her bologna.

We could use some help if anyone can do this. The bear scale needs fixing. If anyone would want to use their pickup to drive it from here (Ely) to Rice Lake, Wisconsin (200 miles) and wait a couple hours for it to be fixed and loaded back on the pickup and drive it back, we’d pay all the gas. It’s something we’d have to schedule in advance so the company can get right on it and turn it around. I’m at 218-365-4480 and at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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