Bears and Chipmunks - UPDATE April 21, 2020

Different bears have different attitudes about chipmunks, and the chipmunks must have to learn who is who among the bears. It’s the same at the Bear Center and in the wild. Some bears are swatters and some will share.

Jack and chipmunk Jack sharing with chipmunk
Jack sharing his food with a chipmunk

 

At the Bear Center, Tasha is a swatter as caught by "Taught" in this 1:18-minute video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NsuwU3ftOBE.

But Ted will share if the chipmunk picks the right moment as seen in this 3:16-minute video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dZF4JGIeMo "Taught" caught in 2017 that we mentioned in this update https://bit.ly/3eDEhtb. 

In the wild, Terri, a bear I walked with some 30 years ago, used to swat at them, although I don’t know that she ever got one; but a chipmunk learned that it could totally trust One-eyed Jack. How do they know? How sensitive are chipmunks to attitude? I have always compared chipmunks to black bears in that each is willing to trust once they know it is okay. Not to brag, but I could see it was okay to trust Jack, too. Same with Ted.

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

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