There’s a bear over there… where?… THERE!!!
After seeing that LIVE bear in Nestor Park, we were inspired to learn more about the American Black Bear. Thanks to Mrs. Boekhout’s neighbour, a big STUFFED bear came to visit our class. He looked exactly like a real bear cub! (One of our custodians even borrowed the bear to give the teaching assistant a big fright, after he got a fright himself, when cleaning our desks after school!)
It was really interesting to learn the “bear facts” about this local wildlife. We think we know why the real bear came to visit Nestor… there are lots of blackberries growing along the park edge, and he was probably trying to fatten up for his winter (partial) hibernation. (Those are the same plant that Mrs. B. feeds to our walking stick insects!) The bear we saw was almost as long as our whiteboard! (one and one-half meters) and probably had 4 cm. long claws! By 6 months old, cubs weigh as much as we do in Grade 2! Most of us knew that bears are omnivores (eat meat and plants too), like humans, but we also learned that they are plantigrades, like humans… we both walk flat on our feet. Bears are strong, run fast, swim well, and like to climb. The famous white “B.C. Spirit Bear” is actually a kind of black bear! Black bears are not all black (isn’t that funny!), they can be blonde, cinnamon, and brown too!
We also learned about BEAR SAFETY. If you see a bear, don’t run away and don’t approach it. STAY CALM! Speak softly so that the bear doesn’t get a surprise that someone is there. Back away slowly. Get indoors.
Even though bears can be dangerous, we were still glad that we live in a community that values and welcomes nature!