An American managed to catch the moment a confused looking black bear poked his head through the cat flap of his home. Doug Harder, who lives near the Schweitzer Mountain in Idaho, noticed the sneaky animal paying him a surprise visit. The bear looked wide-eyed yet harmless as it scoped his new surroundings. Furthermore, this wasn’t the first time Doug had been met with one of his bear friends.
It’s one small step for bears but it could be a giant leap for mankind. A new study has revealed how the fury mammals manage to stop their bones from wasting away during long winter hibernations. Furthermore, scientists now believe this means bears may hold the key to long-distance space travel. Biologists reckon their discovery could one day enable humans to visit some of the furthest planets in our solar system. Space explorers are currently hamstrung by the negative effects weightlessness has on the human body.
Ashocking video has emerged of a three-year-old bear being brutally killed by an ambush of tigers. The young Formosan black bear is believed to have wandered into a tiger pen at Shanghai Wild Animal Park. Xiao Heixiong, meaning “little black bear”, as he is known, stands on his hind legs as the tigers stalk towards him to try to scare them off. But the little bear is no match for the tigers and they pounce.
Researchers into the way we heal from injury are looking at bears for some answers. Black bears in America have a surprising capacity to heal while they are hibernating so the results of a research project have found. The medical researchers worked together with zoologists to find out why bears’ wounds heal so quickly and with no scaring or infection while their body temperature, heart rate and metabolism are reduced while hibernating.
Those of you who have watched the BBC documentary; The Bear Family and Me, will be distressed to hear that the Bear cub featured on the programme has been shot by hunters. The cub was born live on the internet via a webcam last year. During filming she was abandoned by her mother and had to fight to live on her own from only a few months of age. However, she was later reunited with her mother, Lily, when the presenter, Gordon Buchanan, stepped in and brought them back together.
Police received a tip-off that fields near the US-Canadian border were being used to grow illegal crops of marijuana. They planned a dawn raid but then discovered the harvest was being guarded by a dozen Black Bears. From a distance, police estimated the fields contained around 2,300 plants near Christina Lake, just a few miles away from the US border.
Although they are smaller than the Brown Bear, Black Bears are more widespread in North America. They range as far afield as Mexico to Alaska and from the mountains of California to the swamps of Florida and forests of Maine. They feature as popular tourist attractions in many of America’s National Parks. They vary in colour in a similar way as their more aggressive cousins the Brown Bear. In the West, Black Bears are often cinnamon in colour while an Alaskan variant called the Glacier Bear is silvery-blue. Kermode Bears who live on Gribble Island just off the coast of British Columbia can even be pure white.
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