Source: D4K: “Bears"
Visit the D4K companion Web site to learn more about Bear Research: D4K: “Bears"
In this video segment from IdahoPTV's D4K join two biologists as they set a trap for a bear as part of their research project about bear movement. Learn what a GPS collar is used for and what information a bear's tooth reveal.
[CHILDREN] Ew, that stinks
[CHILD] Stink is good. That's what brings the bears in.
[BIOLOGIST] That's right. You guys are going to help us set a trap for one.
[CHILD] Why would we want to catch a bear?
[CHILD] Let me guess. Research.
[BIOLOGIST] Yup, and it's time to get to work. Grab a pair of gloves and let's get a start on the snare.
[JOAN CARTAN-HANSEN] This research project is trapping bears to fit them with radio collars. Then scientists can track where they're crossing a new highway built in Idaho's panhandle.
[BIOLOGIST] As more people move into the area they create more traffic.
Hey i'm walking here.
[BIOLOGIST] Which means more injuries to both bears and humans. So we're trying to find a better way for the bear to cross the road. But first we need to know where and how often they cross.
[CHILD] So what's the plan? Are you going to ask it when you catch one?
[CHILD] And how are you going to catch it anyway?
[BIOLOGIST] Well what did you guys think of that smell?
[CHILD] Un - bear- able.
[BIOLOGIST] Well, that's what brings in the bears. They can smell this stuff from a mile away and they love to eat this stinkin' stuff.
[BIOLOGIST] And they'll come down our path to get to the goods. They'll step on our snare and boom! We've got them.
[CHILD] And then you're going to ask it where it crosses the road.
[BIOLOGIST] No. We're going to use a gps or global positioning system.
[CHILD] Whoa, look at that!
[CHILD] Wow, there's a bear in our trap
[CHILD] Looks like an adult black bear
[CHILDREN] [whoa what do we do now?]
[BIOLOGIST] This is a jeb stick that has a syringe on the end with a drug in it and it will put the bear to sleep before we work on it.
[CHILDREN] That's good
[BEAR] Mmmmmm. Mmmmmmm.
[CHILD] What's that for?
[BIOLOGIST] This is a tooth extractor.
[CHILD] What would you want a tooth for?
[BIOLOGIST] So we can get an estimate of the bear's age. Did you know that inside the bear's tooth are rings just like a tree?
[CHILD] I'm glad it's asleep
[JOAN CARTAN-HANSEN] Once the bear is out the biologist will attach this gps collar. That way scientists can follow the bear's movements.
[BIOLOGIST] The highway department has built some special trails under the highway so that bears and other wildlife can more easily cross the road. So bears wearing the gps collar are tracked by satellites in the sky and we can learn how often they are using these special trails.
[CHILD] Will this help keep bears and people safer?
[BIOLOGIST] We hope so. That's why we're doing this research project. More and more people are moving into this area and as more people move into wildlife's habitat it becomes more difficult for us to manage for both. Now I've got to get this collar on this black bear.
[BIOLOGIST] Hey girls, it's time for you two to get out of here.
[CHILD] Why? Is the bear going to wake up soon?
[BIOLOGIST] He sure is.
[CHILD] Oh no, here we go again.
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