Bear Center News - UPDATE September 17, 2019

We have bear news from Senior Bearkeeper, Sharon Herrell at the Bear Center.

TedTedBear News – September 15, 2019

Ted is shedding and his fur is bleached by the sun. Bear sign marking and rubs go hand in hand but does that include shedding?

LuckyLuckyIn June of every year Lucky, Holly and Tasha shed their winter coat by rubbing against trees in the enclosure and thus leaving their scent for the other ambassador bears to check out. Shedding is helped when the bears go under bushes and by walking through dense brush that removes shedding fur from their coats.

HollyHollyTed waits until late August before shedding. His brown or golden glow is reminiscent of Honey bear. His shed is really going well and he's leaving fur everywhere. I took some pictures of his fur stuck on aspen bark, dogwood trees and raspberry bushes. He also marks and rubs on the cedar trees just outside his enclosure. It helps him shed his old coat, renew vital cedar oils to keep bugs away and he leaves his scent, which Lucky often marks as he passes by.

TashaTashaScent marking happens all year and it isn't just occurring in the wild but also in the enclosure. As for the shedding process, I'll have to ask Dr. Rogers, what part, if any this plays in the bears in marking territories and leaving scent trails. Bears also remove fur by scratching their belly and back end.

The leaves are falling now and Ted's back has gathered a few. I think he may be hinting that he needs his straw for bedding and nesting. It’s still early but the bears seem to think Mother Nature is calling them to den. He still enjoys sitting on the mound eating the grasses that are still greenTed sheddingTed shedding.

Lucky bear misses Bob, our Bear Educator, and his stash of dog biscuits but he did take one from me. He likes to put it between his front paws and bite off pieces. Of course his back end has to be up to do this.

Holly enjoyed an enrichment tool but didn't seem to notice that she had guests watching and admiring her.

As I snapped several pictures of Tasha in the flowers, I wondered if in this picture she thought I couldn't see all 300+ pounds of her. She is such a sweetie.

Shed fur Shed fur Shed fur
Shed fur throughout the enclosure

Thank you for all you do.

Sharon Herrell, Sr. Bearkeeper

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