On Saturday, July 3rd, Tasha was released into the large enclosure with Holly. Neither of the bears knew the other was out, it was a surprise. A huge food spread was laid out for them in hopes that food distraction would keep them from chasing. It worked with food-oriented Tasha, but Holly had other plans and that was to chase Tasha.
Holly saw Tasha as she had her head down eating. Holly approached from the rear of the rock den and emerged just long enough for Tasha to see and the chase began. I always hold my breath to see what may happen but it all went better than planned.
Tasha enjoyed having a bear to chase her even though I’m not at all sure she knows Holly means business; but Tasha outweighs Holly by 50 pounds. Holly is still the matriarch.
On Monday the smoke from the fires in Canada filled the air. A smoky haze hung over Ely and the smell was obvious. The nightly news on Sunday predicted that The air quality in Ely would be poor. The bears did notice. Lucky was pacing but calmed as we opened his den door.
The interns wanted to try a new enrichment for Lucky so they spread peanut butter on the logs and in the holes on the Pat tree. Lucky investigated the Pat tree sampler and after tasting it he licked his mouth and walked away. They gave Ted a peanut butter milk bone, he enjoyed every bite. He also had a very long walk-about.
Tasha and Holly have their moments but it’s been particularly peaceful. I think Holly is jealous, due to the fact that when Tasha is in, she gets treats and Holly doesn’t. We only provide treats to our bear that are in their pens. We do not want to encourage begging from the other fence lines. On Tuesday I allowed Holly in Tasha’s enclosure, she loved getting the attention. It’s important that all the bears are treated equally.
A new little visitor to our enclosure hopped in on Saturday, welcome little snowshoe hare. Check out those feet.
The interns will again be designing bags that will be filled with treats for the bears. Each bag will be auctioned off in a couple weeks by our friends at the Northwoods Bear Foundation. The proceeds from the sale of the bags go directly to bear care and food.
There are some bear food items still available on our Amazon wish list if you’d like to check it out click here.