Being a black bear can be tough. When I took on the task of being a mother bear to a black bear cub named lil Casey, I did not know what I was getting myself into. A black bear learns most of its wild skills from its mother. So I wanted to give my bear skills a shot with lil Casey. I now have a greater respect for these awesome creatures. Let me give you the top 10 highlights of the year.
10. Holding a small black bear cub while bottle feeding it results in needle sharp claws digging into your arms, causing pain and bleeding.
9. Black bears are great tree climbers. I am not; resulting in me falling from several trees.
8. Black bears are great swimmers. I am not, especially in 50 degree water; resulting in near hypothermia.
7. Black bears like to roll over heavy logs and rocks to find food. So such lessons often resulted in the crushing of my feet.
6. Young black bears like to play rough. Therefore, almost every time we would hang out, I would get at least one bruise.
5. Black bears LOVE berries, and can eat LOTS of them. Well, let’s just say when I eat too many berries, they just don’ agree with me!! TMI?!?
4. Black bear cubs eat a lot to grow big. So it is a constant job just to find enough food for them. That means long days and a lot of walking around looking. Very tiring.
3. Black bears love to eat ants, and ants bite back! Ouch! Result: a swollen tongue.
2. Black bears love honey. Honey comes from bees. Bees sting. Again, ouch!! I do not have thick fur to protect me.
1. Black bear cubs are curious and also need protection. Lil Casey decided to try to make friends with a rattlesnake!! I had to protect him, and almost got bitten in the process!!
So in summary, it is very clear that black bears are amazingly tough animals. I thought I was tough, until I tried to be a black bear momma. We should all have a lot of respect for these awesome creatures.
Tune in to America the Wild: Black Bear Invasion tonight at 9P et/pt to get the full story on Casey’s newest protégé, Casey-Junior, a six-week old ambassador Black Bear cub who will learn to walk, swim, climb, and forage, all for the first time under Casey’s careful tutelage; but what starts out small doesn’t stay that way as Casey embarks on an all-out quest to find Black Bears in the wildest country east of the Mississippi: Maine’s “Big Woods.” In this vibrant ecosystem, ancient rugged mountains, fertile bogs, rich moose habitat, and truly majestic wilderness hiking converge to form an unforgettable backdrop to Casey’s quest to find and film Black Bears. And with one of the densest concentrations of black bears anywhere in the lower forty-eight states, action is sure to follow. In Maine, Casey discovers a wildness that rivals even his own Yellowstone; who knew that the East Coast could hide so much wild country? Meanwhile, Casey-Junior is growing – and he is tackling a series of increasingly difficult “wild” challenges: from raiding a beehive to foraging for berries. Before long, he’ll have truly grown into a healthy young Black Bear . . . and going forward, the sky’s the limit!