November 18, 2019
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Video: DIFW crew successfully relocates three black bears to new Presque Isle den

Courtesy of Mark Shea
Courtesy of Mark Shea
A bear den was discovered on a ski trail at the Nordic Heritage Center in Presque Isle on Saturday, Jan. 27, during a college racing event.

A bear den that was exposed by a trail groomer and discovered during cross-country ski races Sat urday was relocated by a crew from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife on Friday morning.

Here are the bears being prepared for relocation:

Here are the bears being removed from the exposed den:

Here are the bears being transported to their new den:

Here are the bears being placed in the new den:

The DIF&W crew has been in northern Maine conducting annual bear den visits of bears that have been previously fitted with radio collars, and which are part of the state’s long-running research project on bears.

Bear crew leader Randy Cross and his team — Jake Feener, Lisa Feener and Ethan Lamb — arrived at the Nordic Heritage Center in Presque Isle and moved the bears a short distance, where they won’t interfere with regular activities on the ski trails there.

The original plan called for the ski trail to be closed for the season, but Cross said Thursday night that a new plan calling for the relocation of the bears was a more suitable option for all involved. Full disclosure: The bears were not consulted before a decision was made but will be tranquilized during the process and are not likely to object to their new digs.

The crew constructed a new den for the bears, and tucked them into their new winter home before retreating and leaving them to their long winter nap.

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