Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Well life caught up with me these past few weeks. I told myself I would keep up with this blog, but it's hard with homework being more important these days!

Anyway my latest excitement is that today I got the great priveledge of getting to visit a bear den. This was my second attempt at getting to visit a bear den. Let me back up and explain that I am enrolled in a course titled Black Bear Management. The official course description is : "This course covers the identification, natural history and management of black bears in North America with specific emphasis on New York State." One of the perks of the class is that we get to accompany the Department of Environment Conservation (DEC) biologists and wildlife technicians to several den visits in the spring. We have a collection of data that we're hoping to get about the bears themselves, the cubs, and all aspects of the den. Today was a day that a visit got to happen. This bear..."Cooky" had already been visited once a few weeks ago by other classmates of mine and she bolted up a tree, so the class didn't get to spend time at the den. We were more optimistic for today.

Let me set up the location of the den. Picture Mt. Everest. The den was at the top of that. Seriously though it was a hike. And we had a ton of gear to bring with us, so it was some good exercise. Once we got up on the "hill", the DEC guys left us students and a few others behind while they went in to tranquilize the Mama bear and get everything ready. In theory once she's safely down and sleeping away, we would come in and start collecting all of our data. Which includes, if there are cub(s) present then we'd get to hold them. Well Cooky had one cub. So once the DEC guys walked away into the biggest bramble patch I've ever seen, we waited. It was snowy and windy, and just about an hour later we got the message via walkie that Cooky took off. After looking for her for awhile using her radio collar and a tracking device, they gave up. The terrain was really rough...so, they let us peak in and see the cub. Here she is...

Photo credit Brian Cole 4/5/2011

Photo credit Brian Cole 4/5/2011

So even though Cooky ran away, and we didnt get to hold this little one, this face made up for it all. Just seeing the cub in the den, on the mountain, in the snow....was so awesome.

1 comment:

  1. So cute!! I am so jealous even though you didn't get to hold it!


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