Sharon’s Report, Great Day Yesterday - UPDATE June 9, 2019

From Sharon:

Welcome to summer! The temperatures this week soared in to highs of 89-90 degrees. It’s hard to deal with since recent temps have been in the mid 60's. The bears seem to be doing ok with it right now. TedTedThe breeze cooled the air slightly on Saturday but the sun was hot and strong.

The construction on the pond halted over the weekend allowing the big machinery to rest. I wonder if the bears were out if Lucky would be the supervisor to Holly and Tasha's renovations! Ted would certainly look on with a desire to excavate a little deeper and wider for his own benefits. It’s just a thought of course. J

 Lucky LuckyTed's garden continues to produce a variety of wild flowers and some delectable bear foods such as; red raspberry, sarsaparilla and bunchberry. It will be interesting for all to watch and see if he eats any of it without us picking it for him. The picture is of Nodding trillium (Trillium cernuum).

This past weekend our interns walked the trail and found some good buggy logs for the bears to tear into as part of their enrichment program. Tasha especially enjoyed hers. She raked her claws over each one looking for fat juicy pupae to eat. Holly didn't get up when we put hers in her enclosure. Lucky only investigated his briefly. We didn't give Ted one as of yet.

TashaTashaTasha is breezing through the pond work; she seems to ignore the loud machinery. She relaxes behind her den and also rests her feet on the Haven while she lays back in the shade. She's a special little bear with a big personality much like Ted.

I snapped a picture of Holly in her tub. She pauses her pacing long enough for water play and a rest in her tub. Once a bear cools their core down, meaning their belly area, it seems to cool their body. She also lies between the wooded area and the cabin structure where the sun can't hit her.

20190609 HollyHollyLucky continually walks to the bear gates just to investigate as if maybe they were opened while he napped but to no avail. He's such a patient and peaceful bear. He does have room to walk around and we’re doing our best to keep his boredom down by doing different enrichments for him. Today we brought in new logs for him to explore.

Additional pictures are of Holly and Lucky near and in the pond just before it was drained and an extra picture of the big machinery.

I want to thank you all for your patience as our staff, volunteers, and pond crew works diligently to keep the renovations going so the bears don't have to be confined for long.Nodding TrilliumNodding Trillium

Sharon Herrell, Sr. Bearkeeper
North American Bear Center

P.S. Don’t forget to vote for your piñatas for the Bear’s Half Birthday Celebration. Click here to Donate and Vote.

Donna and I had a great day celebrating our 40 years together. The weather was perfect, and we had some unexpected good moments. We visited the spot where we first met after a talk I gave. We went to a café and had our picture taken in the booth where we sat and got to know each other that evening. In another café, I hoped we might meet some locals who might remember the old days. I didn’t recognize anyone, but it had been 45-50 years, so no wonder. Then someone said, “Are you Lynn Rogers?” That started one of the most wonderful hours in my life. It was people thanking me for showing the world what black bears are really like and changing their lives as a result. Pond ReconstructionPond ReconstructionPeople told me stories of heart-warming experiences with bears. In the process, someone brought up a story from long ago of how I was given an antique trap by the town leader after his plane went through the ice and Wayne Slayden and I had pushed a small boat out over the ice to rescue him just before the plane filled with water and dropped fully through the ice. A man who had sat quietly to that point in the café came and identified himself to me as that town leader’s son. I remembered how supportive the people were in that town. It is the small logging town of Isabella where people help each other and helped me. It was the ideal spot to base my first bear study—the first black bear field study in Minnesota’s history. Donna took contact information so I can call some of them when I’m writing the book. The trap will eventually go into the Bear Center as an example of the period of cruelty bears went through around the turn of the century a hundred years ago because of people’s fear.

The café was an unexpected moment for both Donna and me.

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