Bear News on This Last Day of Hunting - UPDATE October 18, 2020

Bear News by Sharon Herrell

The local and national weather are predicting a few inches of accumulation for the Arrowhead region of Minnesota, which includes Ely. I think the bears have been predicting this for weeks but as humans we sometimes fail to recognize it.

TedTedTwo of our Bear Educators, Carolyn and Mary, found Tasha pacing about 25 feet from where Holly is denning in Tasha's dug den. Upon further inspection, they saw two piles of dirt in two different areas that were not there on Friday. The two areas are perfect for a bear Tasha's size, 365 pounds. One is being dug under an outcrop of rock and the other under a large boulder. I'm hoping she ends up in the rock outcrop, because it is under the trees and will provide a shield from the weather and she is farther away from Holly. The other area is open and only 25 feet or so from Holly. Time will tell, she has to excavate lots of rocks and roots.

I wanted to give Tasha the opportunity to dig her own den. However, in case she changed her little bear mind we prepared the Haven den and put down some straw. She walked in moved it around and then scooped up a mouthful and spat it out. I feel she was letting me know, "Sharon, if I wanted this I would have asked." She is a hoot.

LuckyLuckyOur sweet Ted decided to use his empty food bag to stick his nose in last night. Was he keeping his nose warm or was he just enjoying the remainder of the food smells left in the bag? It's just a mystery.

Lucky is tucked into his bunker and has most likely encircled himself in leaves and straw. He worked very hard and raked all the straw that was left near the far gate. He seems pretty satisfied and I'm sure if I gave him 5 more bales, he'd find room for it. He will get another half bale of straw soon and he should be good for hibernation.

Holly was given 1/3 bale of straw and although I didn't see her rake it in it was gone when I checked in the afternoon. It’s been a couple weeks since I actually saw her. She's a remarkable bear.

PumpkinsPumpkinsOur fall interns, Emily and Tatum, each decorated a pumpkin and you will have an opportunity to vote on which one Ted will get his treats in on Friday, Oct. 24th. The other will go to Tasha. If Tasha is already denning, Ted will get her pumpkin on Saturday. This is a fun activity for all, the interns loved decorating them for the bears. Have fun and vote on the link on our Facebook page.

The season is quickly ending, and I just want to say thank you to our staff, interns, volunteers, moderators and all our fabulous supporters for a great season. It was a compromised season, but our bears fared well.

Thank you and stay well.
Sharon Herrell, Sr. Bear Keeper