Bears in Trees | VideoNeil Carlson | 11/11/2009
A family of bears are all living in one tree in Northwestern Minnesota.
In order to protect them from possible poachers, we`re not disclosing their location.
Pipeline workers in this area say the bears have been up in this cottonwood tree for around 3 weeks now.
It`s tough to see all of them in one picture, but Mom is on the left, two of her cubs are in the crook of the tree just to her right, and 20 feet above them, is the third cub.
"Its very unusual. Bears typically climb up in a tree for a day or two, three days. But, three weeks seems to be very unusual," says John Loegering, of the University of Minnesota - Crookston.
Workers in the area say that once in awhile the bears must climb down at night, because they`ve seen them climbing back up the tree in the morning.
"We consulted several folks that we know that do bear research and they really hadn`t heard of it," says Loegering. "Some of the explanations might be its out in a very unusual place for bears. Bears are forest creatures and this is a bear that`s out in an agricultural dominated area, so it might only be able to find refuge in that spot."
The lone tree is located along a drainage ditch filled with water and it`s next to a soybean field.
"Certainly it might be sticking around because its got water. If its up in the tree its fairly secure," say Loegering. "Its got food. They will consume soy beans. Bears will eat a wide variety of foods and winter is coming and they`re probably trying to gain weight."
And with winter just around the corner, Loegering says it would seem the bears will need to get out this tree very soon, and find a place to hibernate.
Loegering says the bears don`t need a cave or den to hibernate. He says sometimes they scrap a bunch of vegetation into a big birds nest of sorts, and curl up right on the ground.