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black bear cub.

Black Bear Cub (Ursus americanus)


Although winter hasn’t left us entirely, many sure signs of spring are plainly visible as UWGB students and staff leave for spring break. One of these signs is the end of hibernation or winter “sleep” for animals like chipmunks, skunks, woodchucks, and black bears. UW-Green Bay researcher Andy Hinickle, adjunct faculty member Dr. Chris Katz, and several assistants have continued work on black bear behavior in northern Wisconsin. A late February trip (with Wisconsin Public Television reporters) relocated a female bear that had been fitted with a GPS collar last summer. She was sleeping in her den with 4 cubs, which were born several weeks earlier during her winter sleep. After information was obtained from the (sedated) mother, all 4 cubs, including the one pictured here, everyone was returned safely to the den.

A more recent trip to visit a different bear in northern Wisconsin yielded a different result. The bear had awoken and had left the den only a day or two prior to arrival of the research team. Other bears in Wisconsin will be “waking up” during the next several weeks – a sure sign that spring is nearly here.



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Last updated on May 9, 2014