Bear News – August 27, 2022

Tasha smacks a bug, Lucky poses for impromptu pictures
and handsome Ted.

Bear weights this week:
Ted 652 lbs., Lucky 502 lbs., Holly 328 lbs., and Tasha 370 lbs.
Bear weights one year ago:
Ted 625 lbs., Lucky 490 lbs., Holly 355 lbs., and Tasha 374 lbs.

Bear fact: Bears use daybeds. Daybeds are used for rest, to cool down and provide an area near food sources. Females around Ely will often use daybeds near large white pine trees. Females with cubs will bed there raking conifer needles, breaking balsam branches, which are also used in dens and for on top of snow. Bears also might rest in trees or cool grassy areas. Bears may have many daybeds within their territory or home range.

Lucky propped

Yesterday, Lucky spent time on his bunker. His movements and demeanor are much like hibernation preparedness. I looked at my notes from 2021. The bears are acting and doing things to prepare for hibernation much earlier than usual. Meaning last year the bears began preparing for hibernation the 2nd week of September. Lucky and Holly both are preparing now. I’ll keep you informed as to how close we are getting to denning.


This morning when Tasha was out and about, she sat down by the flowers to rest. A bug must have bitten her muzzle or ear. She put her paws up first to try to catch it and then in a flurry of activity tried to shoo it away from herself. I think at one point she may have got it. The picture taking opportunities were wonderful and even a quick video to show the action. She is so comical. I’ve only seen one other bear a while ago try to catch a bug and after catching it in his mouth, he spat it out and rubbed his paws across his muzzle. The bear was Shylow, a male bear who at the time was collared.


Ted has slowed down this year. He still wants to visit the viewing area and we will continue to let him but he does require time to get to where he is going and nap and rests along the way as he goes back to his den.


This morning Holly showed up late with dirt on her nose, muzzle, paws and bottom. By watching her and Lucky’s current behavior, it looks like denning is just around the corner. Again, checking my notes, Holly was the first to stay near the dug den. We now need to find where she is digging. The color of the dirt indicates it is on the north side of the enclosure. Where do you think it might be?

On Wednesday a merlin falcon attacked a blue jay in the viewing area and killed it. The merlin semi tried to protect it until Lucky appeared. It scared Lucky and he left. On the scene next was Holly, she picked up the blue jay, played with it and left with it in her mouth. Sadly, the merlin then flew into the window and knocked itself out. Soon after, Tasha stepped on it and unfortunately it met its demise. I’m sure it was an accident.Thank you for all you do and for all the dry nuts and fruit donations. Our Amazon Wishlist is still open.

Thank you for all you do,
Sr. Bear Keeper, Sharon Herrell


2022 List of Updates
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