An Anniversary, Some Eating and Digging - UPDATE May 5, 2019

Today is the North American Bear Center’s 12th Anniversary, and I am happy to see it still growing with so many putting their hearts into it. 20190505 NABC Building FrontNABC Building FrontSimple but hearty Thank you’s are in order all around, but most are not working for thank you’s. They are working out of their own passion to see the mission of education accomplished, and it shows. We are also hearing of people putting the Bear Center in their wills to assure the future and to see our dream of a great expansion of educational outreach to schools and wherever we can be effective.Northwoods Ecology HallNorthwoods Ecology Hall

The bears there are eating well. Weights are Ted 553#, Lucky 432#, Holly 255#, and Tasha 234#

Out the window at the WRI about 6 AM, a beaver was eating the bark of what might be their favorite—aspen saplings—near their dam on Woods Lake. This is part of what Bear Course participants look for if they canoe before breakfast on either Woods Lake or Eagles Nest Lake One. NABC ExhibitsExhibits inside the NABCBeaver-watching is especially convenient this year. The main beaver lodge on Eagles Nest Lake One is in our bay less than 90 yards from the dock. That’s the lodge where our neighbor counted 5 beavers swimming at once. He also saw muskrats and an otter at the lodge. We know from a former Beaver Cam that beavers and muskrats can share a beaver lodge, but I suspect the otter was not welcome. When we watched a mink enter the lodge with the beaver cam, it ate a muskrat.NABC New Cub RoomNABC New Cub Room

Also, a woodchuck drama I happened to see a couple days ago is working itself out. One of the yearling woodchucks was standing in the entrance of a woodchuck labyrinth that extends under the cement slab of the boiler shed. I think he or she was trying to use part of it. Woodchuck diggingWoodchuck diggingSuddenly, the big woodchuck that I believe is the mother emerged and attacked the yearling. She might have babies in there, and she might have been telling her yearling that it is time to find his or her own place. Today, we saw it digging a burrow, making dirt fly as in the picture. The burrow is at the forest edge less than 50 feet from the WRI cabin. The story will go on.

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