Bear News – May 30, 2022

Clean-up day, Lucky climbs the cedar for a look and cedar piles.

Bear Weights:
Ted 541 lbs. (wet) may change next week when his coat isn’t carrying extra water.
Lucky 425 lbs., Tasha 321 lbs., Holly 251 lbs.

Bear fact: The importance of cedar. Dr. Rogers wrote in his June 23, 2018, update: “The cedar chip pile has always stimulated play on it and rolling in it. I don’t know the whole story about why cedar chips stimulate this behavior but it is likely related to the presence of thujone, a chemical with the name derived from the genus name of cedar-Thuja. Thujone repels fleas and ticks and some other insects.”

It is also known that bears, including our bears, will strip cedar bark and use it for their dens. It’s also a very popular tree to climb just like the white pine and other trees. The cedar can also be used as a marking tree along with electric poles, red pine and many other varieties of trees.

Clean-up day was very successful. All the dens were cleaned, Ted’s of course was the biggest area to be cleaned. The volunteers and our new interns did a great job of taking care of old straw, putting in tubs, filling them and adding a cedar pile to each den. I want to thank our volunteers Cheryl, Sarah, JM and Mary for their help. Carolyn and I supervised for the most part. Our intern’s initiation went very well, they were smiling and enjoying themselves.Lucky couldn’t see the noise that was coming from the truck that emptied the pond. He was frightened at first because he couldn’t understand the noise. He climbed the cedar tree in his enclosure to get a better look. He sat pressing his back to one tree and balancing his weight on the outstretched branches of another. He watched intently and listened until the truck disappeared toward the pond and he could no longer see it. He then got down and played with a log.Oftentimes a black bear will stand to assess a situation. The fight or flight instincts. By standing up they can get a better look at the potential danger. Their mouth is open as they take in air to smell. The vomeronasal organ is located just above the roof of the bear’s mouth and allows the bear to smell 100 times greater than a human. Many people that see a bear do this think they are showing their teeth or getting ready to lunge. This is a misconception; the bear is actually assessing its situation.Tasha spent her time in her enclosure playing with her tub and rolling in her cedar pile. A large dead tree that fell a few weeks ago was removed and cut up into long pieces for her and Lucky to play with.

Holly was not happy being in the bunker. She was out as soon as she could be released in a safe manner; meaning the pond filled and she could be let out. She paced and seemed highly agitated, she is a few days away from estrus, (heat) please be patient with her.Ted relaxed and ate peanuts while he watched his den being cleaned. He inspected it a while later. He enjoyed rubbing his face in the cedar chips and then resting before getting into his tub.

Our interns will all be introduced in the weeks that follow.Please remember the Half- Birthday fundraiser began on May 29 and goes through June 10th. Piñatas will be given to the bears on June 12th at 10 am. The bears get very excited when they see their piñata. Please vote and have fun on behalf of Ted, Lucky, Holly and Tasha.Thank you for your generous contributions to our dried fruits and nuts, it’s an important supplement to our bears diets.  Here is a link to our Amazon Wishlist.Thank you for all you do,
Sr. Bear Keeper, Sharon Herrell


2022 List of Updates
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