Bear News – September 9, 2023


Holly’s reflection, Lucky counts his toes, and Tasha yawns.

Bear Weights:
Lucky 486 lbs. • Holly 307 lbs. • Tasha 360 lbs.

[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_single_image image=”36876″ img_size=”large” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center” onclick=”custom_link” link=””][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_column_text]When a wild bear gets a drink from a clear pond, how does it react? When our captive bear Holly was cooling herself in the overflow area, did she see her reflection? To answer these questions, we go back to Dr. Rogers study on How do Black Bears Respond to Mirrors?

I was able to be a part of watching the bears look at themselves in the mirror in this study. I distinctly remember Juliet (one of the study bears) running away from the mirror. As it turns out though they see their reflection while drinking from the ponds and lakes. The mirror was something new.

At the center the bears drink and cool off in the pond often and sit in the overflow area. It doesn’t seem to bother them that their reflection is there also. Holly sat quietly cooling herself. I was able to get a picture with her reflection. She had no reaction to herself.

She eventually got up and walked around the pond to see what Lucky was doing.[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_single_image image=”36879″ img_size=”500×575″ add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center” onclick=”link_image”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”36877″ img_size=”large” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center” onclick=”link_image”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”36885″ img_size=”large” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center” onclick=”link_image”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_column_text]Lucky, given his love of the water and entertaining antics, put on quite a show for guests and staff on Monday. It was hot, the temperatures rose above 90+ degrees. A bear’s coat can reach temperatures over 185 degrees. From our website, “On sunny days, black bears spend more time in the shade. To find out why, Ely researchers measured fur temperatures on a black bear at midday on a windless 73-degree day (May 31, 1990). The tips of the fur were as much as 185 degrees where the sun hit squarely on the bear’s back.” Click here to read more.[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_single_image image=”36886″ img_size=”500×545″ add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center” onclick=”link_image”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”36888″ img_size=”large” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center” onclick=”link_image”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”36887″ img_size=”large” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center” onclick=”link_image”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_column_text]On Tuesday afternoon it stormed in Ely, high winds with rain. Lucky remained in his den for the night. Holly was found sleeping in Den 4 on Wednesday morning. The bears are using the dens and seem to like them.

Tasha is usually in Den 1. On Wednesday she raked some small sticks and roots together and sat playing with them as our guests watched her. She will most likely rake it into that den.[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”36875″ img_size=”large” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center” onclick=”link_image”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”36889″ img_size=”large” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center” onclick=”link_image”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_column_text]As fall behaviors take the place of hyperphagia, we’ll watch the bears become more lethargic as they move into Fall transition, the next step before hibernation. The bears slow down, limit food intake, move slowly and rest. Restricting their movement allows their bodies to adjust to the weight they’ve gained to sustain them through hibernation. Tasha yawning is indicative of her slowing down.[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_single_image image=”36881″ img_size=”600×284″ add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center” onclick=”link_image”][vc_single_image image=”36880″ img_size=”400×583″ add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center” onclick=”link_image”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_column_text]In some different news, I found a little blue spotted salamander (Ambystoma laterale) entangled in garden mesh. Natasha carefully removed the mesh and we were able to let the little critter go in the forest. Blue spotted salamanders are commonly found in Minnesota and throughout the United States.

Thank you to Pond Chat moderator Marge for Tasha pictures.

Our Amazon Wishlist is still available on Amazon for your shopping pleasure.

Thank you for all you do,
Sr. Bear Keeper, Sharon Herrell[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]


2023 List of Updates


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