A Bear Visit Remembered - UPDATE November 12, 2023
A couple days ago, Lorie Kennedy sent a good memory of this past summer to local bear feeders. It was this picture of old Guy, a bear probably in his twenties (as indicated by his white hairs) sharing hazelnuts with a trusting chipmunk. While the chipmunk was stuffing its cheeks with hazelnuts from one end of their pile, Guy is calmly touching hazelnuts with his tongue, having them stick, and quickly pulling them into his mouth. It was the last day of a Black Bear Field Study Course, and several people were taking pictures. Lorie took the one shown here and told the story as below:
The Stars Of The Summer Of 2023—Guy and Alvin
Guy ambled to the WRI on the first day—actually within the first hours of filming a French Canadian TV program after not visiting the WRI for over 3 weeks. He calmly walked up onto the deck, sat down, and ate hazelnuts next to Lynn while he was being interviewed. After filling up o hazelnuts, Guy walked down to the beaver pond for a bath; all captured on film. Was his appearance a coincidence….or did our Guy just want to show the world how awesome bears are?
Alvin the chipmunk learned that red and green coffee cans carried a priceless commodity—hazelnuts! He continuously jumped on our legs, shoulders, and laps to receive and stash 9 hazelnuts per trip—yes, 9 is the max in his mouth. (Sorry, he does not take ½ hazelnuts. We can only assume it’s about efficiency and fit).
Thank you everyone for another successful bear season! We would not be able to sustain this amazing educational opportunity and feed the clan and their friends without you! We sincerely appreciate every one of you!
Thank you so very much!
I might add how thankful I, too, am for this wildlife-loving community that for over 60 years has kept bears out of trouble with diversionary food to bears and became known for its peaceful coexistence and lack of bear problems—a result that is so contrary to the usual beliefs about "A fed bear is a dead bear." This community and its surroundings hold some of the oldest black bears in Minnesota, including the second oldest black bear on record at 35. Guy is an example. He has never created a problem. Guy is a trusted favorite who is also trusted by this chipmunk.
Thank you, Lorie, and thank you all for all you do.
Lynn Rogers, Biologist, Wildlife Research Institute and North American Bear Center