The Glen Arbor Sun’s winter edition features some great reads including In search of the sleeping bear by Pat Stinson. Here’s the start – be sure to click through to read the rest for information about the bear population in Leelanau County!
In January, as snowshoe hares bound across Thoreson Road and minks skirt a frozen wetland at the foot of Alligator Hill, northern Michigan black bears snooze in their dens, tucked into secret places throughout the Upper (U.P.) and northern Lower Peninsulas. During this month, one of nature’s most intriguing phenomena will occur. Pregnant black bears (females are called “sows”) will give birth to between two and four tiny cubs while curled asleep under logs, in dirt holes left by uprooted trees, or among branches and leaves the sows have gathered that resemble giant birds’ nests.
“It’s pretty amazing that this all happens in the wild, sometimes without protection in a nest-type den completely out in the snow,” said Dr. Larry Visser, NW Wildlife Management Unit Supervisor for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR).
The article explains that the bear population in Leelanau County is considered medium density with eastern Benzie County and southern Grand Traverse County as high density, so you may also want to check out the Michigan DNR page on the Black Bear and Wikipedia’s entry on the American Black Bear! You can click that photo (courtesy Wikimedia Commons) for a larger view too!