Stories tagged hibernation

According to the Global Humanitarian Forum, the number of deaths “that result from the spread of disease, malnutrition and natural disaster caused by climate change” is roughly 300,000 people per year.

Read more about it here.

Dec
19
2007

Snooze and lose?: A famous black bear (not this one pictured, however) in northern Minnesota may be sorry it chose a local cabin as a place to hibernate this winter. A controversy is now brewing as to if the bear is a nuisance bear and needs to be killed.
Snooze and lose?: A famous black bear (not this one pictured, however) in northern Minnesota may be sorry it chose a local cabin as a place to hibernate this winter. A controversy is now brewing as to if the bear is a nuisance bear and needs to be killed.Courtesy U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Here’s a doosey of a wildlife dilemma. A well-known bear in the Ely, Minn., area is currently hibernating in an open space under a lake cabin with her two cubs. The cabin owner doesn’t want Solo, so named because she’s missing one of her ears (here’s a link to her picture), under the cabin through the winter. State wildlife and local government authorities are now struggling over what to do.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is planning to follow its policies and kill the bear and relocate the cubs to another area. That’s because Solo has become much to comfortable with humans, particularly the Ely-area residents who have put out food for her over the years.

Township government officials report that they’ve had numerous complaints from people that Solo has gotten way too close to them over the years because of her lack of fear of people. People are sure it’s her because of the missing ear. Authorities also point out that there are about 25 other bears living in the area, lessening the impact of losing one problem bear from the area’s wildlife population.

But several bear activists in the area are irate about the plans. They contend that their feeding of wild bears actually makes them less of a risk to people, decreasing their need or desire to go on to people’s property to scavenge for food.

The issue heated up earlier this fall when the bear activists learned that Solo was hibernating under the cabin. They wanted to place a webcam there to monitor her hibernation activities through the winter. The cabin owner didn’t like that idea, much less the thought of a bear and two cubs staying under the cabin for the winter.

The activists are hoping that other measures can be taken to make like with Solo more manageable, like giving residents pepper spray to scare her away, using electric fences to protect gardens and other property and increasing public awareness of keeping food and cooking utensils in bear-proof locations.

But the wildlife officials contend that Solo’s people-friendly habits are deeply engraned now and can’t be undone. Her cubs, however, still are young enough to learn more natural ways if they’re relocated.

What do you think should be done about this bear problem? Share your thoughts here with other Science Buzz readers.