Tidbits About Ted, Honey, Lucky & Holly

  • This post has questions and answers about Ted, Honey & Lucky.



    Updated 19 months ago by a moderator. Like this post to subscribe to the topic.
  • ANSWERS FROM DONNA ANDREWS

    Question from Jenn Weinblatt: What were Ted, Lucky and Honey's official denning dates last year?

    Answer: Honey was just after Thanksgiving. Ted denned a few weeks earlier. Lucky went in with Ted about the same time.

    Question from Diane Krewald: Now that Ted, Lucky and Honey are progressing toward hibernation, do you know how much money it cost this past year to feed them? I understand they receive a variety of fresh fruit, vegetables, and dried granola/high quality dog food mix.

    Answer: We don't give out that information. But it is recorded for our auditors report.

    Question from Don Minn Jay: When feeding starts gain, could you post times, etc. on Lily's page as well as any other types of updates about Ted, Honey & Lucky

    Answer: We are working with the volunteers this year to help us post feeding times for the pond watchers. But since the times vary with the weather, bear activity, etc., there is no set schedule. It will change a little bit every day. We always start the first feeding each day at 1.5 hours after we open the doors in the morning to our visitors. So that is a good starting time to watch the bears.

    Question from Nancy Stanz: When Honey and Ted lived with their first family, did they den together? Were there any complications or dominance shown then? Did the original family notice distinct differences in their personalities or general behavior from when they lived in close quarters and now when they are free to roam?

    Answer: The two bears were separated by a wall between their two dens. The information given to us from the previous owner has proven to be inconsistent with any behavior that we have observed of Ted & Honey since they arrived here. So there would be nothing accurate to compare.

    Question from Don Minn Jay: What are the latest weights for Ted, Honey & Lucky?

    Answer: At the end of October, Ted was 660. Honey was 445, and Lucky was 395 pounds.

    Question from Judy Mickens: I understand that last year you stated that Ted does not have canine teeth due to tooth decay. Next year, Lucky will be larger and even more aggressive during mating season and gentle Ted will be at a decided disadvantage. Do you have any thoughts/concerns about this?

    Answer: Ted knows how to keep Lucky in line. Ted is taller when standing on his back legs, has bigger paws, and knows how to use his size to his advantage. Once during this past summer, I watched Ted gently but firmly grab Lucky by the scruff of the neck, haul him down the hill about 10 feet, and then let him go. All that without harming Lucky at all. Lucky pouted at that point and ran into the woods for an hour or so. They have a bond between them that we believe buffers some of the disagreements that they have.

    Question from Peggy Stubbs: I can visualize the NABC pond area as beautiful area with white clover and wildflowers. Will the bears still have the chip pile to play/roll around in? Will Ted have his log? And, will Lucky have his logs to play with and other toys?

    Answer: Yes to everything.

    Question from Connie Hawkins: Do the cedar chips at the pond have a purpose other than just for the bears to roll around in? Are they a type of insect repellant?

    Answer: Yes, it is an insect repellant. It reduces the wood ticks, and reduces some mange that is caused by Mites.

    Question from Maureen Kintyer: Do you ever replenish the NABC acreage by adding new food plants for the Bears?

    Answer: No need for it for the time being. But we have plans for adding other vegetation if needed.

    Question from Don Minn Jay Could you give us a recent update about Ted, Honey & Lucky?

    Answer: Ted is sleeping soundly in the Chalet. I checked on him a few days ago. He blinked as he peeked out from behind a berm of denning material, and sniffed the air, then went back to sleep. Honey and Lucky are just fine. We gave Lucky some water (he was thirsty) while Honey was out for a walk in the snow as in Lynn's update on Dec. 26th.

  • FOLLOW UP FROM DR. ROGERS ON HONEY

    We don’t think Honey will have cubs, considering that she is 15 with no cubs. Believing that, we don’t want to put her through a sterilization procedure and risk her life with tranquilizers unnecessarily. If she proves us wrong, which we don’t think is likely, we’d have to make the best decisions for the cubs at the time and would have to work with our veterinarian to prevent any more births.

    Part of our confidence in this is the story of Gerry. She gave birth in the wild at 3 in 1992. She and the cubs were placed in captivity. The cubs were released into the wild as yearlings. Gerry was exposed to males in captivity every year thereafter (18 years and counting). She was never observed mating, and she had no more cubs. Her interactions with the males in her large enclosure remind us of Honey.

    We’re trying to make the best judgments we can.

  • Questions and Answers from Pond Chat 1/8/12

    Q: A chatter would like to know if the H/L cam can be re-situated so we can see Lucky better.

    A: The camera is in a hole in the side wall. It can't go any lower towards Lucky, or we won't be able to see the bears when they sit up or stand.

    Q: Did Honey have blankets during the winter before she came to the NABC?

    A: I very much doubt it. The blankets are something that I had a gut instinct about. When I went to see the bears in Wisconsin, before they moved here, the only toy in their enclosure was a tire swing.

    Q: Part 1: Did Donna think that the blankets help to calm Honey?

    A: Over the past 2 winters, Honey has used the fleece blanket to block the cold wind, and to keep the straw and snow out of her face.

    Part 2: Chatters were noticing she seems calmer after getting the small pieces of material.

    A: Yes, it does seem to appear to have that effect on her. Gives her something other than straw and the Horse toy to move around.

    Q: When Lucky went out last week, it was reported that Donna gave him a drink of water. What behavior of his demonstrated that he was thirsty?

    A: I brought up a bucket of water and a small handful of food with me. Lucky had no interest in the food, but greedily drank the water.

    Q: What are the approximate dimensions of the H&L den?

    A: 4 feet by 6 feet and about 4 feet high.

    Q: What do black bear tongues feel like? Are they more like human or have that cat like sandpapery feel?

    A: More like a human tongue. They generally have better breath than humans, and the tongue is about 6 inches long.

    Q: Is there straw by the entrances of the unoccupied dens - in case one for the bears decides to "move"?

    A: Yes, The other 3 unoccupied dens are full of natural bedding materials and straw

    Q: Why does Honey keep sitting and looking up?

    A: Lucky and Honey sit up to lick up condensation that has formed on the roof of the den. Similar to what wild bears do in natural dens. Honey and Lucky show this behavior when they shared the Rock den three years ago.

    Q: Is there any way of finding out the EXACT date of Honey, Ted & Lucky's birthday?

    A: No.



    Updated 35 months ago by a moderator.
  • NABC Questions though 1/15/12

    Question from DonnMin-Jay: Lucky pretty much stays in the back of the den now...away from honey...and sleeps. Do you know where he was positioned before Honey moved in?

    Answer: Lucky moved into the den about Mid October. He immediately selected the side of the den that he is in now.

    Question from Judy Mickens: - It seems all three resident bears have really liked the concrete bunker dens. They can stretch out, roll around, and sit up, without being cramped. Is there any way the den camera can be removed from the empty adjacent bunker den, so it could be used by either Honey or Lucky? With three plus months of hibernation to go, it doesn't seem likely the constant tension between Honey and Lucky will resolve.

    Answer: The Den camera and equipment are housed in the other cement bunker. There is a convenient hole in it's side that is holding the camera and microphone that we are currently using. Honey could den in the window den and/or the rock den, but prefers to stay where she is. All the empty dens have plenty of bedding material in them to keep the bears comfortable if one of them decided to move out and go to another den.

    Question from Donn Min Jay: Is there a cam in Ted’s den with a live feed to NABC (I thought it was it was stated before that there was going be one)? Is it possible to switch to that camera every now and then?

    Answer: There is no cam in Ted's den. He is sleeping quietly. We have checked on him several times, and just get a big yawn and blinking eyes from him. Then he pulls his head back into the bedding, and goes to sleep.

    Question from Chat: At one time there was some discussion about possibly putting a microphone in the woods to pick up the woodsy sounds for the pond cam, is this still a possibility?

    Answer: We have not discussed it lately. The microphone would have to be able to pick up bear vocalizations, and mute all the other noises such as cars, motorcycles, semi-trucks, waterfalls, and talking/yelling of visitors on the viewing deck.

    Question from DonnMin Jay: Who is doing all the snoring in the Lucky & Honey’s den?

    Answer: Earlier this afternoon it was Lucky who was snoring loudly. Usually it is Honey that is loud.

  • NABC Bear Questions 1/16/12 – 2/10/12

    Question from Kathy Brown: Is there going to be a Bearkeeper course this year?

    Answer: Yes, the 2 Keeper classes have been posted on http://www.bear.org/website/the-nabc/bear-keeper-course.html

    Question from Lydia Lawrence: Honey seems to have an allergy to the straw and or dust from it, which causes her constant sneezing. Is there another type of bedding that could be used next year to help her from the constant sneezing? Maybe her allergic reaction to the straw is why she doesn't bed down and sleep much.

    Answer: Last year we used all natural bedding including fall leaves. We saw the same result with the leaves, etc. as with the straw. The leaves, grasses, etc. also turned to dust after awhile.

    Question from Janet Dunne: Both Honey and Lucky appear to be getting increasingly stressed by sharing the one den. It doesn't seem that either of them is enjoying the experience much and 'discussions' between them are an almost daily occurrence, although neither of them has injured the other to date. In view of this, would you consider attempting to ensure that Honey (at least) dens alone for future hibernations?

    Answer: Honey could den in the window den and/or the rock den, but prefers to stay where she is. All the empty dens have plenty of bedding material in them to keep the bears comfortable if one of them decided to move out and go to another den.

    Question from Don-Minn-Jay: Do you have a record of where each bear has denned each year since they have been at the NABC and could you share it with us?

    Answer:

    - 2007/2008 Ted denned in large cement bunker den, Lucky alone in igloo den, Honey in smaller cement bunker den.

    - 2008/2009 Winter Ted denned in his large bunker den, Honey & Lucky denned together in the rock den.

    - 2009/2010 Winter Ted & Lucky denned in Honey's smaller bunker den, Honey denned in window den.

    - 2010/2011 Ted and Lucky denned in Ted's larger bunker den, Honey denned in window den again.

    - 2011/2012 Ted denned in the Chalet (in the Modular Enclosure), Honey & Lucky denned together in Ted's large bunker den.

    Question from Judy Mickens: Could an enclosure be made this summer to house the camera equipment at the opposite end of the large cement den currently used by Honey and Lucky, so that the adjacent cement den could be available for denning next year, instead of blocked off because of the camera equipment.

    Answer: The other den was always available for Honey to use; yet she preferred the window den or rock den up till this year. Our bears have more choices for dens available to them than most captive bears. Ted wanted and won the use of the new wooden den inside the new Modular Enclosure.

    Question from Cindy Munro: Why is Honey so nervous of Lucky? And is that why she really never sleeps – is it because she is so afraid of him?

    Answer: Honey was raised with Ted for years with a family in Wisconsin before arriving here. She has always exhibited the behavior in question. It is part of her personality, but it is likely tied to learned behavior from her previous experiences.

  • Pond Chat Questions and Answers (through 5/8)

    Question: Have the bears ever been given sugar beets or sweet potatoes?

    Answer: No

    Are the cracks on Lucky's footpads an issue?

    Answer: No

    Question: Do the bears like pineapple?

    Answer: They do if it is well chilled. We only give it to them on super hot days and only give one every other week during the summer.

    Question: When will they resume work on the pond and get the falls going?

    Answer: Soon

    Question: Could Donna make a list of all the wild foods available to the bears in the enclosure?

    Answer: Some wild foods within the enclosure are grass, clover, pea vine, dogwood, juneberry, aspen leaves, catkins, raspberries, hazelnuts (very limited), willow galls, large leaf aster, fiddle heads, ground hornet nests (occasional ) and rotting logs containing grubs and ants.

  • February 2013

    Question from Dianne Krewald: I keep reading Ted, Honey and Lucky are 'checked' 3 or 4 times a day. Why are they being 'checked'?

    Answer (from Judy Thon): We are not that much different than any place that cares for captive animals. I have folks checking for a number of reasons. For example, this is the first year that all three bears have hibernated alone so we are documenting their movements, if any. This is a policy that I put in place to better document (via a daily Bear Activity Log) when they are active, what they eat, what they do, etc. During the ensuing months, the Activity Log will include bear weights, mating behaviors observed, changes in eating habits, etc.

  • Questions 3/25/13 - 4/15/13 - Part 1

    Question from Dianne Krewald: On Ted's den cam on April 13th around 1:30 PM, Lucky was out, and on the other side of the fence. Ted was moaning, clacking his jaws, and backed into his den. Lucky proceeded to pull a branch from a tree, until it broke. During this time, Ted continued to moan, clack, and cower in his den. Is this the type of behavior that would be expected from now on if nothing were done?

    Answer from Judy Thon: Ted's response of moaning is a sound that a bear makes when they feel threatened by a more dominant bear. The clacking of teeth is a common nervous response, or a response to feeling crowded. I can't predict how Ted will respond to Lucky in the future.

    Question Janet Dunne: Would fixing Honey so that she didn't come into estrus also work to negate Lucky's aggression and make him more amenable to living safely with Ted or would his hormones still make him aggressive?

    Answer from Judy Thon: Fixing Honey would certainly prohibit her from having cubs. Lucky would still have his instinct to mate. Lucky would also vie for dominant male.

    Question from Dianne Krewald: I was told on Bear Chat Picture Palace that the word “discussion” should be used to describe aggressive situations between Lucky and Ted. Was “discussion” the correct word to use for education purposes and will the word “fighting” now be used on FB pages?

    Answer from Judy Thon: The decision to use the word "discussion" or "fighting" depends upon the situation and a person’s understanding of two bears’ interactions.

  • Questions 3/25/13 - 4/15/13 - Part 2 and One Question about Lucky at the End

    Question from Dianne Krewald: In the 8/14/10 Update, comparing the Bear Center to zoos and other captive environments, you stated the following: “Everything we hoped for when we built the Bear Enclosure is coming true. We write this update hoping that other bear facilities can follow suit around the world.”

    Hindsight being 20/20, would it have been better to have Lucky's “sentence” carried out 6 years ago? What would you say today about the circumstances of how he came to the NABC? If you had the chance to meet the guy who stole him from his den, would you tell him how he ruined Lucky's life? Do you believe stiffer fines should be levied against people who are convicted of tampering with dens? Recent news of the 3 cubs found in a box along the roadside neglected to mention a crime had been committed. Do you have any thoughts on this? Some of these questions have been asked before in a prior post, but all of this could have been prevented if 'consequences' over ruled 'cuteness'.

    (Answer from Sue M) We have plenty to deal with on a day-to-day basis here without dealing with ‘what if’ questions about the past. Please remember that when Lucky first came to us, the Bear Center had only been open for 2 months. The whole situation was brand new to us—staffing the Center, caring for the 2 adult bears plus a cub, etc.

    Question from Dianne Krewald: As the sad story in the 4/5/13 Update about Ted, Honey and Lucky has brought out the “truth”, will this prompt you to publish your opinions on possessing “Captive Bears”? I know the NABC bears are not research bears and are covered by a permit issued by the USDA. Just because a state issues permits for bears, do you believe people should possess bears and keep them as pets? The “traveling side show” is making the rounds at the Deer/Turkey Expos and anyone can have their photo taken with 2 black bear cubs or a grizzly cub, habituating them to being handled constantly. Do you have any opinions on these types of “side shows”, and the real purpose for habituating these cubs? I asked the “Keeper” and the conversation became heated – he had NO answer with respect to his “purpose” and he didn't know what habituation was. As you have published other papers' over the years, do you feel it is time to change course, and re-think habituation?

    (Answer from Sue M) There is a huge difference between captive bred bears and wild bears. Most states will not allow a captive bred bear to be released into the wild under any circumstance. Whether the bear is habituated or not doesn’t matter. I’m not clear about your use of habituation in your questions—the term is so often misused. It simply means ‘grown accustomed to.’ It does not mean ‘attracted to.’

    Question from Dianne Krewald: Will you please explain, again, the consequences of Honey having cubs?

    (Prior answer from Dr. Rogers) The Bear Center permit is from the USDA but whether we could release cubs into the wild would be up to the DNR. In another state, when cubs are born in captivity they can be released into the wild. In Minnesota, things are likely different. If Honey has cubs, we’d probably keep the litter, make them part of the group, and take the steps of spaying or neutering so we don’t get more bears than would be good.

    Question from Lydia Lawrence: Would it have made more sense to use the land that the addition is being built on to give the bears more room to roam? After all, 2 acres isn't much room for 3 grown bears- especially with the rivalry now formed. And since they are now going to be separated and fenced in, isn't that bordering on the small enclosures most captive bears live in at zoos?

    (Prior answer from Dr. Rogers) Our permit allows up to 12 bears but we have kept it to 3. I forget how much room there is supposed to be per bear, only a few feet, so that is something we will never come close to approaching as a limit to the bear numbers. We are prioritizing habitat quality, natural vegetation, trees to climb, etc. The enclosure is mostly forest, nearly the size of 2 football fields—far bigger than can be seen from the pond cam.

    Question from Peggy Ellis: I am kind of surprised that Lucky and Ted both haven't been neutered to reduce the aggressiveness. Is it because the researchers are still hoping that one of them will get Honey pregnant and she will have cubs?

    (Prior answer from Dr. Rogers) We don’t think Honey will have cubs, considering that she is 15 with no cubs. Believing that, we don’t want to put her through a sterilization procedure and risk her life with tranquilizers unnecessarily. If she proves us wrong, which we don’t think is likely, we’d have to make the best decisions for the cubs at the time and would have to work with our veterinarian to prevent any more births.

    Part of our confidence in this is the story of Gerry. She gave birth in the wild at 3 in 1992. She and the cubs were placed in captivity. The cubs were released into the wild as yearlings. Gerry was exposed to males in captivity every year thereafter (18 years and counting). She was never observed mating, and she had no more cubs. Her interactions with the males in her large enclosure remind us of Honey.

    We’re trying to make the best judgments we can.

    LUCKY

    Question from Janet Dickinson: How soon was Lucky up and walking about after his surgery?

    Answer (from Judy Thon): It took Lucky a bit longer than we expected to come round after the tranquilizer. At 8:45 PM Sat April 27, 2013 he was not yet standing. At 4:30 AM on Sunday April 28, 2013 he WAS not only standing BUT walking around the chalet.

  • NABC Bear Questions 5/13/13 - 5/28/13

    Question from Dianne Krewald: Approximately 15 months ago you stated the following: "Chemical castration is being tested in the USA, and I’m one of the advisors." Why wasn't chemical castration performed on Lucky? What have you learned from these chemical castration tests?

    Answer (From Dr. Rogers) I talked with the lead researcher in the project and he felt that surgical castration was preferred at Lucky's age. He is the experienced veterinarian who then flew here to do it.

    Question from Sheila Sager: Have Lucky and Ted seen each other and have they played together?

    Answer: Lucky had is surgery on April 27th, 2013. They have not had unrestricted access to each other yet. Keep in mind that the bears have been in their individual enclosures due to construction. Ted is in the chalet and Lucky is up in the same enclosure where he denned last winter. They cannot see each other. We did not plan it that way, but rather put each bear in the enclosure that we felt would be best for each bear.

    Question from Kathy Brown Question (based on the 5/19 Update): Are all the greens described in the update available to the NABC bears - I don't remember if they have the ferns, asters and bedstraw. I recall that when I was there for Bear Keeper class we went out and I picked some of the aster leaves and neither Ted nor Honey wanted anything to do with them.

    Answer:(from Sharon Herrell and Judy T) Yes the wild bears eat the fiddle heads. Ted Honey & Lucky do not eat them but they are available in the enclosure. We have not seen any ferns this year but we have not looked all over the enclosure this year either.

    We have aster, bunch berry, sarsasperilla, in the enclosure. Lucky eats the fruits of the wild.

    We did plant bedstraw on the back side of the big falls this spring.

    We also planted clover, which is now up and we have seen Honey and Ted eat it, but they are not into forgaing like Lucky. Lucky will be eating the catkins from the aspens that are now out.

    We also have Dogwood, chokecherry and raspberry growing in the enclosure. Many time Lucky misses his "hand fed" foods to forage.

    We will be planting more white clover in the new area behind the new building as soon as possible.



    Updated 18 months ago by a moderator.
  • Questions About Ted, Honey & Lucky Q&A’s 6-18-13 – 7-13-13 (Answers from Sharon Herrell)

    Question from Annie Narrator and Don-Minn-Jay: Do you know anything about the bear that was eyeing Honey? Did Ted or Lucky or HONEY react to him?

    Answer: The bear outside the fence looked to be 7 or 8 yr old - he was very handsome and had no scars, which makes him a younger not older bear. He was seen earlier in the week at one of the research areas. The bear we call "Yogi" would be a 2 yr. old this year and frequents the trail and fence area. Lucky was afraid but a little interested. Ted seemed ok and Honey bear was oblivious.

    Question from Don-Minn-Jay: Have you considered putting up trail cams at the NABC to see if bears come out at night or to view other critters that might pay a visit?

    Answer: We do have trail cams. W e have seen 1 male young bear, 1 female bear, raccoon, pine martin, fisher, ravens, hares, coyote, red fox, 2 bucks, many does, and not seen but left tracks, large cat - probably lynx.

    Question from Lily Mod Anna: A fan messaged and asked Is Honey still in estrus?

    Answer: Honey is not in estrus.

  • Q&A’s 11/6/13- 11/13-13

    Answers from Sharon Herrell at the NABC

    Question from Paula Wright Poindexter: How did Ted, Honey & Lucky react to the Trail of Terror at the Bear Center?

    Answer: The bears did not react to the, Trail of Terror, they are used to forest sounds. Coyote and Wolves howling are something that naturally occurs here.

    Question from Jacki Croft Taylor: What are the most recent weights on Ted and Honey and Lucky?

    Answer: Lucky went into den @ 440 lbs. Our last weight on Honey was @ 472 lbs and Ted is a very healthy 680 lbs.

    Question from Carol A Hochfeld: I’ve noticed Honey waiting for treats at the window. How often is she fed and is it a high calorie diet for her long winter nap?

    Answer: The bears are fed their breakfast usually early around 8:30am- then a small spread at 1:00 or when they ask and then dinner at 3:00. Currently they are eating peanuts, cranberries, dried apricots, raw egg, tuna, romaine and carrots.

    Even though Lucky is denning he is provided fresh water, carrots and romaine. When he eats it we do not see him - he hasn't been out. I do not watch Lucky until eats. At some point he does eat, we do not watch him - he is “denned”.

  • Question from Chat: We are wondering if the sniffing that we see Honey do from time to time is uses her vomeronasal organ; if so, can Honey sense that Holly is a female?

    Answer: I’m sure Honey is well aware that Holly is a female.

    Question from Laine Ryan-Pearce: How did Holly contract mange?

    Answer: We do not know how or where Holly contracted mange. We only know that she arrived at NABC in December with hair loss.

    Question from Grams Limes: Is the mange the reason that Holly looks like she has a Mohawk going down her middle of her back?

    Answer: Yes. Holly has lost the long guard hairs on her sides but still has them on her back—giving her a Mohawk!

    Question from Ester Brosnan: Does the mange have any bearing on Holly’s "scrawny" appearance?

    Answer:Yes. A full coat of fur gives bears a ‘round’ appearance. The lack of fur on Holly’s sides makes her appear thin.

    Question from Suzie Saliga: If Lucky is touching Holly through the fence, is it possible that he could get mange as well from such a small amount of contact?

    Answer: The veterinarian treating Holly did not seem concerned about the limited contact.

    Question from Chat: Does Holly making the humming noises when she drinks her bottle?

    Answer (from Sharon Herrell): Holly makes a blend of humming and anxious whining. She is cute. Her little eyes are very aware of what is going on around her. She is very attentive to her surroundings. She will sometimes close her eyes while taking her bottle.

    Question from Chat: Have Lucky and Holly interacted outside of their dens?

    Answer (from Sharon Herrell): Lucky and Holly have only interacted with the fence between them. Lucky does play outside the fence but she will be in her enclosure for a while yet. (Note – this was answered before Holly was let outside of her enclosure.)

    Question from Chat: Have you seen snow fleas around the pond area?

    Answer (from Sharon Herrell): have not seen snow fleas but suspect Lucky has enjoyed them. Currently, he and Ted are eating the new clover and young tender grasses coming up. The clover and grasses are tender and succulent right now and easily digested. Its our first green of the season but expecting snow today.

  • Q&A’s 5/13/14 – 6/23/14

    Question from Grams Limes: Do you think Holly will be the same color as Honey?

    Answer (from the 1/7/14 update): If she had all her guard hairs, she’d be black with a little white on her chest. But the short, dense kinky fur visible on her sides and rear is grayish brown.

    Question from Kristine L. Hollenbach-Brown: Is Ted able to impregnate Honey?

    Answer (from Dr. Rogers last year): Yes but we don’t think Honey will have cubs, considering that she has not yet. Believing that, we don’t want to put her through a sterilization procedure and risk her life with tranquilizers unnecessarily.

    Question from Suzie Saliga: I'm interested in what medication Holly received for her mange. Is it Ivermectin? Is Holly being given anything, such as oral antihistamines or steroids, to relieve the itching while the mange medication has time to work? Is she getting an antibiotic to prevent any infection from any skin lesions she has from scratching?

    Answer (from Judy Thon): Yes Holly was being given Invermectin. No to the other question. She had already been given antibiotics because of the infection we found with her ear tags and at a location on one of her hindquarters during the ear tag removal procedure.

    Question from Linda Wilcher: Were all the bears (especially Lucky since he was close) being treated as a precaution for the Holly’s mange?

    Answer (from Judy Thon): The veterinarian treating Holly did not seem concerned about the limited contact.

    Question from Marilyn Rothman: What noises does Holly make to communicate i.e. cries, grunts, etc. and when does she make them?

    Answer (from Sharon Herrell): When Holly is really hungry she cries for her food. Right now she wants more nuts and fruits and not so much her bottle. She sucks her bottle with slurping sounds but does not make the motor like sound as nursing cubs do, she never has. She also blows and chomps at the other bears when they are too close.

    Question from Laurie Cederstrom Matson: Are the visible ticks pulled off the Resident Bears?

    Answer (from Sharon Herrell): We pull the ticks off when we see them. Honey had one the other day and it was removed. We use a weak spray called Nature’s Guard to spray dens. I also use Flies Away or natural bug spray to rub their ears and spray their coats when it gets buggy – like right now.

  • Q&A’s 6/24/14 - 8/6/14

    Question from Chat: Does Holly still have her baby (milk) teeth?

    Answer (from Sharon Herrell): No, Holly has her “big girl” teeth and she knows how to use them - she hangs by her mouth to get her balance and she is ripping open logs. Holly also knows just the right amount of pressure to use to “mouth us” without breaking the skin (as she did 3 months ago).

    Question from Lori Conley: Do you have any concerns about the dead branches that Holly has been standing on in the Pat tree. The branches seem very brittle and so many have already broken off.

    Answer (from Sharon Herrell): No, Holly will control her balance if a branch breaks - as she grows she will realize that there is less branch to stand on. The branches are strong even though they are dead.

    Question from Grams Limes 8/6/14: Would it be possible to put some type of filter on Ted's cam to minimize the glare. At times, there is so much glare in the background that it’s hard to see beyond Ted’s chalet.

    Answer (from NABC): The glare seemed to be worse at different times of the day. We have made some adjustments and things seem to be better now.

  • NABC Bears - Q&A's through 10/28

    Answers from Sharron Herrell

    Question from Maggy Graham: Will Holly be allowed to den outside an enclosure if that is what she chooses (possibly even where she has been digging)?

    Answer: Today, we found a beautiful deep dug rock den -made by Holly herself! Dr. Rogers took pictures to share with all in an update (see 10/29/14 update). We are going to see what Holly does and decide from there.

    Question from Holly Jorgenson: On the pond cam this summer Judy T and Liz discussed the different varieties of foods that the bears get. How much food did they get for their main meals? They did seem to gain a lot of weight pretty quickly.

    Answer: Early summer calories are kept low, usually per animal 2,000 to 5,000 calories to allow them to gain slowly. August calories increase as bears in northeastern MN go into hyperphagia. Ted seems to increase in September instead of August. Calories increase to 8,000+ depending on the individual bears.

    Question from Valerie Snaden: How is Ted's foot? Did the vet determine what the problem was?

    Answer: Ted’s paws have shed the old pads and yes, it has been determined that Ted has arthritis.

    Question from Julie Loop: How did all Ted’s scans and blood work come back after the other vets looked at it?

    Answer: I apologize but we can't answer that at this time. I will say, Ted is on limited exercise and that will continue until further notice. Hibernation will help him.

    Question from Cindy Fitzgerald: Who determines the caloric intake or, the total number of calories in a daily allocation of regimented feedings, for the NABC bears? How is it determined how much fat each individual bear requires for a particular winter and upcoming spring. Wild bears forage at liberty, eating nearly nonstop before denning and aren't bears the same in that way - wild or captive?

    Answer: We try to mimic wild bear intakes. It is hard here because, although Lucky and Holly forage, and Ted eats grass, the regular dry food intake and fruit and veggie intake varies as each bear progresses through the year. I talk to our veterinarian and we do our best to mock wild intakes by our bears. Again we have other instances that take precedence over what we can do.

    Question from Cindy Fitzgerald; Are there plans to revamp honey’s den, i.e., improve the entranceway and remove the sawed off tree stumps?

    Answer: Right now Ted is using Honey's den and will den there this year.

    Question from Grams Limes: Are there future plans to enlarge Holly’s den area?

    Answer: If we do expand a den, it will be for Ted.