Bears! - UPDATE May 17, 2020

Bear news from Sharon for this date:

This past week gave our Pond Cam Moderators/drivers and online viewers a great deal to talk about and some added excitement when a wild bear got into the exterior portion of the bear closure. As for me and our staff, exciting maybe, stressful for sure. When Heidi, our Office Manager, Judy, our Education Director and my right-hand person and I arrived at the bear center we found the “bandit bear” strolling towards the food shed. As soon as the bear saw us it immediately began to look for a way out. He scaled the new wooden fence easily and walked around the brim; as he approached the balsam tree behind the fence, he reached for it and was down in a flash.

Lucky in pondLucky in pond TedTed HollyHolly

We walked the fence immediately and fixed one spot. Scott cut down the tree and hot-wired the area again, he hasn’t been back since. Thanks to our diligent Moderators who are always watching our bears and alerted us about the “bandit bear” visit.

I do believe Ted and Tasha were the only bears that enjoyed his visit. We believe this is a 2-year-old that is part of the family that was dispersed near our trail last year.

TashaTasha Silly LuckySilly Lucky

In other news, Tasha dug herself a nice hole just east of the bunker dens. There used to be a large ant colony where she is digging and it’s a pretty deep hole. Time will tell what hers plans are.

Holly remains on alert over near the cub tree/white pine. As I approached today and snapped her picture, she was playfully letting a dogwood branch hit her face and pawing at it.

Lucky and Tasha both seem to compete for cuteness and silliness awards. These two put on a comedy routine most every day. They seem to like showing off.

Ted on alert with bear visitTed on alert with bear visit Hole Tasha dugHole Tasha dug PlanesFlyover

Ted was posing on the mound today and I was able to click a picture of him. He is such a handsome bear.

Also, the Air National Guard did a flyover this week thanking all the essential workers in Ely. We are very proud of our little town and thank all of the folks keeping it running, especially the hospital and grocers.

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


At the WRI, Samantha and her four yearlings are the main attraction with others being Chloe, Spanky, Andrew, and more. Also in the yard is a new 2008 Chevy Express 10-passenger Van with air conditioning for the Black Bear Field Courses. We’re keeping the 2001 Ford Van and the 2003 Chevy pickup for interns and winter 4-wheel-drive use.

It was a full and beautiful day. More to tell.

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