An Eye on Wildlife

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September 18, 2018


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Samantha Pelletier Samantha Pelletier

Most people would be afraid to see an American black bear (Ursus americanus) walk onto their hiking trail, but I couldn’t help but fall in love as I watched this young bear stumble up the hill along my trail in search of a yummy snack.

It was a beautiful day in North Cascades National Park in Washington. The sun was shining and the bushes were full of berries, specifically huckleberries. My new friend had no interest in my group as he sniffed out huckleberry bushes while we made our way slowly up the hill. It was amazing to be able to watch this black bear frolic around in its natural habitat, completely unaffected by our presence.

During the fall, the bears are preparing for hibernation by fattening up enough to last them through a long winter. They can increase their body weight by 35% and sometimes forage for 20 hours a day during this time. These black bears would then soon crawl into their dens ready for up to a half year long slumber.

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