Saturday, January 28, 2017

The curious case of the blond bear

This very light-coloured bear has been seen several times

Normal black bear. Both photos taken last year by Tom Tauscher
For several years now our guests have spotted a very blond bear near camp. I'm not going to identify the location but all of the sightings have come from the same place.
The photo at top is the best so far. Tom Tauscher took this shot last year and also saw another bear in a far different location.
The first couple of anglers that saw the blond bear a few years ago thought it was a golden retriever swimming; that's how light-coloured it is. It wasn't until the animal got out of the water they realized it was actually a small bear.
The most common colour variation of the black bear is brown, also called cinnamon. This would be an extremely light cinnamon.
Tom was struck by how buoyant the blond bear was. Compare how much of its body is sticking out of the water compared to the black bear he also photographed.
My nephew, Mac, and his wife, Susan, were fishing last summer when they could hear a snorting sound coming from the shoreline. Realizing it was coming from an animal they moved closer with the boat and finally spotted the little blond bear up in the top of a very large tree. The snorting sounds were coming from the ground at the base of the tree and although they never got a clear look they guessed that there was another bear on the ground. It would seem it had treed the smaller bear.
Bears are very territorial and will run off or even kill other bears that invade their area.
I once saw this very thing happen. I was fishing when a small bear came tearing down the shoreline. About the time he went out of sight another, larger, bear came galloping along, right on the other bear's trail.
Tom also forwarded along the great photo of fellow angler Joe Peterson with a 38.5-inch pike he caught and released. It was just one of many big fish the group caught last summer.

Joe Peterson with beefy 38.5-inch northern pike caught and released
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