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A winter visit to a bear den

A Minnesota DNR leads a group of students to check in on a hibernating mother bear and her cubs.

Meet bear #5005, the target of an expedition led by Minnesota DNR research biologist Dave Garshelis aiming to take measurements and change the bear’s radio collar and GPS unit. After tranquilizing the mother bear, Garshelis and a group of college students get up close and personal with the animal and her two cubs, taking hair samples and weighing the bears. The purpose of the DNR’s bear research, according to Garshelis, is to study ‘population dynamics;’ causes of mortality and reproduction in the black bear population.