A homeowner from Pike County Pennsylvania called the Pennsylvania Game Commission and said she thinks there is a bear denning under the deck of her home. Gerald Kapral, the Game Commission’s …
A homeowner from Pike County Pennsylvania called the Pennsylvania Game Commission and said she thinks there is a bear denning under the deck of her home. Gerald Kapral, the Game Commission’s Northeast region information and education supervisor, asked her if she would allow the Game Commission to install a streaming camera where the bear was hibernating, and she agreed. This took place in late December and the home is used only as the summer residence.
Game Commission personnel was sent to install the webcam and equipment. They reported it is a sow bear with two cubs. The cubs look to be just over a pound and barely a foot long, and they were burrowing under their mother’s warm, furry body.
The camera and equipment also captures audio and is connected by cable to the home’s internet provider for viewing. Game Commission personnel said they kept disturbances to a minimum, and we were quiet. They stated that bears don’t truly hibernate. They are more in a state of slumber and can be easily awakened and they are very easily aroused.
The whole bear family was nestled on a deep bed of leaves and twigs that the mother bear had likely spent days preparing last fall.
Supervisor Kapral said, “As days lengthen and weather warms, mom and her brood will become more active. The sow has been observed stretching and shifting position at times. The cubs will continue to grow and eventually will come out from underneath their mother, by late March they will be grooming and playing with one another.”
Kapral went on to say, “At some point, the sow will signal her cubs that it’s time to leave, and that they need to get going. They will stay together for a year and a half and will probably remain in the vicinity.”
The cameras used to have infrared light to minimize disturbances to nocturnal animals and operate on motion detection. The bears and other wildlife can be viewed at HDCnTap.com or through pgc.pa.gov.
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