From Canadian Broadcast Company:
Earlier this month, Fort Frances District staff from both the Atikokan and Fort Frances offices, assisted Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in locating an 11 year old female bear who decided to den across the border in Canada. When they found the sow, she was denning with her 3 cubs. This sow is a collared bear that’s part of a Minnesota DNR study on bear population dynamics, spanning 40 years.
Ministry staff, along with local Conservation Officers helped to locate and assist with collecting the data to support the longstanding study. This included taking measurements and weighing the three resting cubs. Following that, the momma bear and her cubs were placed back into their den to continue their slumber until they emerge from hibernation in late April or May. Tri’s department has been researching the bear population since the early 1980s, he said.
Its current study explores how they’re responding to declining berry production in their habitat.
The bears seem to be doing OK, he said. But one thing their research has revealed is that the animals migrate long distances to follow food and prepare for winter hibernation.
“This bear just happened to be on a migration to the southwest, which is very similar to what other bears do,” he said. “But then she did a U-turn and decided to head for brighter pastures across the border.”
The bear was likely unaware of Canada’s entry requirements related to COVID-19 and probably did not make use of the ArriveCAN app, Tri joked.
“There’s not a whole lot of signage where she crossed,” he said. “But certainly the television reception, [notifying] folks of those requirements is not very good in that part of Minnesota. So I’m guessing she just didn’t get the message.”