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Waking up with bears

Shute’s Breakfast with the Bears offered goodies for everyone, even bears

David Colburn
Posted 8/11/21

ORR- People attending the summer’s second edition of Breakfast with the Bears at the Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary last Saturday knew they’d be seeing black bears. But most seemed both …

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Waking up with bears

Shute’s Breakfast with the Bears offered goodies for everyone, even bears

Posted

ORR- People attending the summer’s second edition of Breakfast with the Bears at the Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary on July 31 knew they’d be seeing black bears. But most seemed both surprised and thrilled to have around 50 bears, young and old, wander in for their viewing pleasure.
“I thought maybe I’d see three or four,” one patron said.
Summer interns were on the viewing platform to provide information and answer questions, including the oft-repeated, “Why are there so many bears here?”
That’s because the berries and other vegetation that make up the largest portion of a black bear’s diet are either seriously restricted or non-existent, leaving the bears to depend more heavily on the mash provided by the sanctuary.
And although there was a glut of bears to look at, the cubs, eight to ten of them, got the most attention. Several pairs engaged in entertaining rough-and-tumble play, and in a particularly good stroke of fortune for viewers, most of the climbers chose trees right next to the viewing platform. A pair settling into a tree closest to the gift shop drew a paparazzi-like response from the crowd, with most of the 35 participants angling for position to get the best pictures.
There’s one more Breakfast with the Bears scheduled for 7 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 17. Once again, the special guest will be naturalist, writer and photographer Stan Tekiela. As of Tuesday, Aug. 3 there were still a few spots left for the session, according to Melia Marquez, visitor center manager.
Visit https://www.americanbear.org/event-calendar/breakfast-with-the-bears for more information or to book reservations. The cost is $40.
The viewing platform is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The wildlife sanctuary will close for the season on Sunday, Sept. 5, and will not be open on Labor Day. The visitor center on Hwy. 53 just south of Orr is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. More information about admission prices, black bears, and the sanctuary is available at americanbear.org.

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