“Do Bears Shit In The Woods?”
Wildopeneye is celebrating protected areas and would like to offer this photograph as evidence to answer that frequently asked question once and for all. Please forgive the thread of toilet humour here, but we are happy to say that bears do indeed continue to defecate in these parts. We submit this image from the Bottomland woods in Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge in North eastern Louisiana as evidence. This deposit was made recently by a native Louisiana Black Bear (Ursus americanus), officially the State Mammal since 1992 when it received protection as a threatened species throughout its traditional range under the Endangered Species Act. See http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/louisiana-black-bear-status-range for details and population map.
We were thrilled to see this evidence of bears and to actually catch a glimpse of a bear, if not a picture, as it loped across the road during the safari drive. We also saw the lovely White-tailed Deer, a mixed flock of Black and Turkey vultures, also Wood Ducks, hawks, Woodpeckers and a surprising blaze of colour from Sun flowers around the lake.
American Safari Experience
Tensas NWR offers a great Safari drive. They have adopted a brilliant system with local farmers that sets aside crops for wildlife benefit. We saw deer feeding down one of the ‘rides’ that allow long distance viewing otherwise difficult in the tall standing Milo crop, excellent forage, and in the ripened brown of Autumn we were reminded of African safari drive experiences.
The Autumnal phase of the Bald Cypress coupled with yellows and browns in the deciduous leaves are very beautiful and there were no mosquitoes on this occasion, making for lovely walking conditions.