Spanky! - UPDATE February 25, 2021

SpankySpankyAs Den Watchers line up, my excitement builds, thinking about what we can learn new from Spanky. One thing is breathing patterns that we can compare with other bears we know like Ted and with old videos of Lily and Jewel, etc. The super view of Spanky will help with that—in addition to showing his daily activity patterns. Spanky spent some time raking what little brush he could find to make a better bed. At the end of the video we see him startle as is described below. We put together a little video:

Flying squirrelFlying squirrelFor the story of Vinnie the Vole, Pooch Pal captured a moment when Spanky was sleeping so soundly that Vinnie was able to stand up and put its paws on Spanky’s head without getting a reaction. The opposite happened today at 18:06:04 when Spanky was soundly sleeping with 13- to 15-second delays between breaths. Suddenly, he sprang up like Lily had done many years ago when a vole snuggled too close to her warmth. We didn’t see a vole in this case, but similarity in the reactions was suspicious. Within a half minute, Spanky settled back down with his head tucked back under his chest in the hibernation position. Within a couple minutes he was back into the same breathing pattern he had shown before he was startled.

Out the window, this flying squirrel looked very alert eating sunflower seed hearts in the exact spot where a barred owl nearly caught one a couple weeks ago.

It felt very good today to hear that in some classrooms Spanky is playing all day, generating many questions from the students.

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