A Red Letter Day - UPDATE February 19, 2021

After seven years without a den cam, new DNR leadership made this year the ice-breaker for the future. Thank you. Spanky in denSpanky in den

And now we know who the bear is. It’s Spanky, now 6, the last-born son of Shadow. She gave birth to him at the age of 28, making her the oldest black bear to give birth on record. Shadow is also the second oldest black bear on record. We hope she is sleeping peacefully with another year added to her record—34 years and counting.

Mink SpotMink SpotOn September 16, 2020, Spanky was good to visit a scale in the area and let us know he had grown to 364 pounds. After a slow start, he had a growth spurt this past year. In late September and October, he continued to be seen finding food. He probably weighed around 400 pounds when he entered his hibernacula under the porch where I saw him sleeping soundly there on October 31, 2020.I took the picture with a long lens and a flash from some 20 feet away but was unable to see enough of his face to know it wasn’t Lily.<Mink SpotMink Spot/p>

At my desk, two minks added excitement the last couple days as the team prepared Spanky’s 5 PM debut.When Spot came into view for a bit of bologna, she showed a lot of white hairs on her shoulder area. Are these a sign of age like they are on black bears? She seems to be living in the garage and under the boiler shed where she might have found some warmth during the past very cold days. The other mink was Guitar who still has his quarters in/under the roof up on the third floor.

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

2021 Bear DenClick to watch the 2021 Bear Den Cam