AR-News: (WI - US) Bear hibernating in Eagle's Nest

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Thu Mar 18 16:10:41 EST 2004



Bear Hibernating In Eagle's Nest

POSTED: 10:52 a.m. EST March 17, 2004

There's a bear hibernating in a tree on the Chippewa Flowage in Wisconsin. 

Natural resources officials said bears normally hibernate in caves, hollow trees or culverts. But this one is in a bald eagle nest at the top of a 45-foot aspen. 

A couple snowmobiling in Sawyer County first saw the eagle nest Dec. 31, and thought there was something inside.  

Jennifer Ehrlichman of Hayward said they returned the next day and her boyfriend climbed up an adjacent tree to snap some photos, determining it was a bear. She notified Department of Natural Resources officials. 

A retired DNR bear ecologist, Mike Gappa, suspects it's a young animal because they're smaller and more inquisitive than older bears. 

He said that the animal may have chosen to climb the tree because it had some disturbance on the ground during a previous hibernation. 

The DNR wildlife supervisor for the Upper Chippewa area, Ken Jonas, is worried that people will find out the bear's exact location and try to wake it up. 

He noted that it's against the law to disturb a hibernating bear. Entering the den of a bear in hibernation carries a maximum penalty of nine months in jail and a $10,000 fine.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.






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