Happy Bears - UPDATE May 9, 2020

Sharon is back and it’s good to hear from her. I’m sure the bears are glad to see her, too, considering that she increased their caloric intake. I haven’t actually seen her myself because everyone is kind of in lockdown, but it’s good to see her words:

Happy Mother's Day!

Who was that mask man/woman? That’s if you're old enough to remember the Lone Ranger. Oh well, I'm so pleased to be back; we are practicing social distancing and are wearing masks to care for our bears.

I want to thank Spencer (our biologist) and Mary (Bear Educator Volunteer) for doing a great job with bear care in my absence.

TashaTasha TedTed


The bears of course recognize voices, but a masked face is very different. The blue vests are helpful in maintaining their trust and care for them. Spencer and Mary were great!

The bears were cautious of me at first, especially Tasha. It was a long winter away from them. My Holly bear did a turn and seemed to immediately respond; she was a happy bear. Lucky was unsure at first but decided all was well. Our beautiful Ted made happy grunts; I’m not sure if it was because he was happy to see me, or just put my food down and back away!

As humans, at any other time in history, a masked person would be taken as a threat. Now, it’s a way of life. As we move into having to wear masks the bears will learn to associate mask voice and food. My hope is that they will listen also. In any event it’s going to be an interesting productive summer.

I wanted to talk about our one time a day feeding, which is our current schedule. I put it upon myself as Sr. Bearkeeper/ Curator to come up with a plan for our bears to receive the calories they would normally be getting if we were open. So, the bear’s food was increased this past week. Ted is getting 12,000 calories, Lucky 9,500 calories, Tasha and Holly 9,000+ calories in each feeding.

HollyHolly LuckyLucky


I have asked that fish oil be ordered and of course we have all the medications on hand if Ted should need anything. I hope you will all bear with us as we tread on new ground to comply with the rules and guidelines set up for bear care by the USDA.

My wish and hope for all is that you are safe and continue to follow your state guidelines as we endure the stay-at-home order. The year of 2020 will be one for the history books.

Stay safe and keep watching the bears at https://bear.org/watch-us-live/live-cams.

Thank you for all you do,
Sharon Herrell, Sr. Bearkeeper

 At the WRI, action is picking up with bears and other wildlife. More on that tomorrow.

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