Nature Matters: Bears waking up

By KBJR News 1

April 22, 2014 Updated Apr 22, 2014 at 8:50 AM CDT

Ely, MN (NNCNOW.com)

"Woof woof woof"

Those woofs are the sounds a happy bear makes according to Dr. Lynn Rogers of the North American Bear Center in Ely.
This bear is called Ted and he's just got out of bed after his winter hibernation.
Like many of us on Monday mornings, he's not quite into his normal groove yet.

"They're still in what people call a state of walking hibernation. It's a period when their metabolic rates are coming up." said Dr. Lynn Rogers of the Bear Center.

The four bears will be in walking hibernation until the forest greens up.
Right now, they'll eat but they're not overly hungry and they still spend a lot of time resting.

"It's a good thing for them to do because there's not a lot for them to eat this time of year." said Rogers.

"Whee whee whee"

That's the sound of a bear that is hungry.
Holly is a cub and needs food sooner than her bigger den–mates.
Until green up, wild bears get by with snow fleas and ant pupae.
When the leaves are back on the trees, Ted will be as hungry as a bear and he'll be on the prowl for easy pickings.

"Judy Thoen of the bear center says there are ways you can minimize human and bear interaction." said Dave Anderson near Ted's den.

"It's getting to be that time of year when you should take down that bird feeder for the summer and not put it back up until October or November." said Thoen.

According to Dr. Rogers, the long, cold winter didn't harm the Northland's black bears during their hibernation.
And, the record setting cold shouldn't hamper the bruin's food supply this summer, either.

"Following 1996 when they set the record in Tower at –60, the following summer was the best food year I have ever seen." said Rogers.

In Ely, Dave Anderson, KBJR 6 and Range 11.

This summer, the Bear Center will put the finishing touches on a new display that features more than just bears.
The new addition will highlight the Northland's other species of animals.