Bears in the City of Ely, Minnesota - UPDATE July 29, 2020

In this year of spring drought and few blueberries, bears are being seen in Ely in unusual numbers. Bear in Whiteside ParkBear in Whiteside ParkThis scared young bear that is probably 2-4 years old is in a cottonwood tree in Whiteside Park in the center of town. The tree is beside the sidewalk along Sheridan Street, which is the main street of town. I took the picture from the sidewalk across the street.

When drought is the cause of berry failures, patches growing on deeper, moister soil can still produce berries here and there. The word from blueberry pickers I talked to in the crowd that was watching the bear is that blueberries are very scarce, and the few they see are very small.

Police were keeping people away from the tree, making them stay across the street. With heavy traffic going by on the street, though, the bear showed no sign of coming down. He or she will probably come down when people go to bed and the street has little traffic.

This video is of a different bear walking through the center of Ely filmed on June 2 by a volunteer of ours. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aij_yqHNfUs

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

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