Sunday, September 7, 2014
As hunters decimate the North Woods in Minnesota comes the loss of 5-year-old male Ty (son of 8-year-old Bow, great-grandson of 15-year-old RC, and great-great-grandson of 27-year-old Shadow). Ty was a playful bear who had good rapport with many other bears. Ty was popular. Many bears knew and trusted him and frequently initiated play—or responded to his initiatives. His relationships extended to sharing food. He often fed with his nose peacefully touching the noses of larger or smaller males, even when the food was highly preferred hazelnuts. Seeing his relationships develop with the other bears this past year as he became a confident adult, we would have liked to better quantify those relationships, the amount of play, and how it contrasts with the behaviors of less accepted males. Part of Ty’s acceptance by other males may have been due to his calm, trusting demeanor that also extended to humans. We saw Ty’s picture posted as one of the bears killed on September 1—opening day.