I wanted to report on the bears one more time before the end of the season. The big news is Ted is doing very well!
Bear weights: (end of season)
Ted 694 lbs., Lucky 505 lbs., Holly 330 lbs., Tasha 394 lbs.
Hibernation dates are as follows: Holly – September 27, Lucky – October 26, Tasha – November 10 (but I’m sure you will continue to see her out and about) and Ted we hope very soon.The 2021 season gave us the opportunity to work with new interns and seasoned and new volunteers. It is always a pleasure to see young minds at work as our interns learn to respect and work with each bear. Everyone loves Ted immediately. His gentle whoots and acknowledgement of their presence gives them confidence to work with the more challenging females, especially sweet Holly.
Holly didn’t surprise any of us as she disappeared into her dug den on September 27, weighing 330 lbs. It wasn’t a surprise either when she met Lucky about 20 feet from her den and chased him away.Lucky had good intentions approaching her with gentle whoots and tongue clicks but she wasn’t accepting. She chased him and after a brief confrontation Lucky scooted back to the comfort of the bunker den. I don’t think he has figured out her moods as not many of us have.
Her hibernation time coincides with Minnesota bears. Dr. Rogers has reported in the past that in the late 1960’s the State of Minnesota traded black bears for turkeys with the State of Arkansas. Therefore, we believe there is a good possibility that Holly has northern genes and hibernates the same time as the wild bears in Minnesota do, between September 1 – October 31. Good night sweet Holly.Lucky bear truly wanted to hibernate early in October but he was kind enough to wait until after we closed. Lucky received several bags of raked leaves and then on October 24th, he got his straw. Some of the straw is still outside his bunker, maybe for future use. Lucky went into his den for hibernation on October 26. Good night handsome Lucky bear.Tasha bear, what can we say? Tasha was in her den (the Rock Den) for a 10-day period November 10-17. She then came out a few days later and has been out on a regular basis. She collects more bedding, looks for treats, and if she sees a human shoots back into her den. What a bear! I think she just wants to keep her viewers entertained. She is a comical little bear. I will always say little Tasha even though she’s much rounder than Holly. Time will tell as Tasha decides when to settle in for good. This year Holly and Tasha got along quite well.
I purposely left our precious Ted for last. The past two weeks have been challenging for all of us but Ted, being the cooperative soul that he is, seems back to normal. The Moderators caught Ted resting on his back, wow! Our bear is doing so great.Ted is still eating soft foods for now in the spring we will adjust his foods and treats to what he can handle. I know he’ll be back to eating his treats again. Dr. Rogers’ update on Nov. 12, talked about healing in the den. Ted is an amazing bear and he is very alert, yet sleepy, if that makes sense. We love our Ted bear and we are thrilled he did very well through his dental surgery. I suspect he will hibernate very soon.
I want to thank our dedicated staff, volunteers, interns, moderators, and supporters. Also a very sincere thank you to Dr. Kristen, the Ely Veterinary clinic and the dental staff at the University of Minnesota for their care of Ted.
I also wish to thank all of our generous donors during Give to the Max Day! Our bear enclosure project is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2022. Thank you for putting us over our goal and joining us on this important day of giving.
Here’s to a prosperous, happy and safe 2022!
I will be hibernating in Michigan, see you in the Spring!
Thank you for all you do.
Sr. Bear Keeper, Sharon Herrell
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