Bear News – October 11, 2021

Holly has denned, dirt flying, and Lucky gets some leaves.

Bear fact: Bears den in a variety of places. If you suspect something is a den, look for a bed of leaves, although not all bears make beds if they den after snow has fallen. To be sure a bear used a leafy bed, look for a depression 2-4 feet in diameter. Dampen your hand on the forest floor and rub it around on the leaves to see if any dark hair sticks to it. Click here to learn more about winter dens.

Breaking news! The dirt was flying on Thursday afternoon as visitors and staff watched sweet Tasha in the rock den. She seemed perfectly ready to hibernate if only she could complete the process by adding bedding.Spencer and Natasha raked several bags of leaves from the trail and she received them on Saturday. We will keep her den natural this year, as she is a proper bear. We all hope that she continues to prepare this area for her hibernation den.

Tasha taught us last year how a bear prepares her nesting area. We all watched with great fascination as she raked bundles of dead grass and used it as bedding.

Another interesting fact, just like the wild bears, Tasha stripped bark from the cedar tree nearest the den to add to her comfort. Cedar repels bugs, smells good and we watched as she made it part of her bedding.

Dr. Rogers wrote in his April 10th, 2020 update…
“I suspect it is cedar bark because that is the only kind of bark I’ve seen them strip for bedding, and there are cedars in the enclosure. Good catch on the camera. They use it for spring beds out of the den and for bedding in dens.”

“It’s time now for us to just watch and wait to see what Tasha does in the next few weeks. If she waits that long. She is very slow and takes many breaks while foraging or walking”.

Holly hibernated on September 27th. She has not been out of her den since.

Lucky received more leaves for his bedding on Saturday we put leaves by the Rock Den for Tasha. The temperatures are still in the 60’s during day so no straw for a couple of weeks. Ted and Lucky will receive straw around the 24th of October. If that changes, we will let everyone know.Ted has shared his gentle woots with children visiting the center. He is still enjoys seeing visitors and getting his share of treats. Guests are in awe of his size and his gentle nature. At 24 years of age he’s still got it!

Upcoming Events

Intern Jack-o-lantern contest. Our interns will be carving pumpkins for our bears. Facebook friends can vote on which pumpkin will go to Ted and which will go to Tasha. The jack-o-lanterns will have treats in them as they did last year. This year’s event will be on Sunday October 17th @ 2:00pm bear time. Watch our Facebook page for more details coming soon.Mark your calendar for November 18th, Give to the Max day. Our staff is ready to go! Last year due to covid we couldn’t be together and I did my part by phone. This year I am excited to be here in person and “beg for your dollars” one of my great volunteers said, that is what I do best along with taking care of our precious bears. All kidding aside, my work is generated totally by what our bears need and to what is best for our folks watching online and our guests.Thank you for providing all the dry fruits and nuts for the bears. I am “caching” what is still packaged for next year. Thank you.

Some pictures are courtesy of Deb and Marge, thank you.

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


2021 List of Updates
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