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Mink Update

I wanted to update everyone on Mink, the deceased Black Bear in New Hampshire, as more information regarding her death has been released. Biologists now think she may have died of natural causes.  From the condition of her teeth they have determined that she wasn’t in her teens, as previously thought, but  between 20 and 30 years old.  That is the normal life span of a Black Bear.  Her death is still very sad, but perhaps a little easier to accept if humans were not involved.

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29 responses

  1. DO we know what happened to her cubs?

    August 29, 2020 at 11:31 am

  2. Marie

    Yes, it is sad. Did you hear what happened to her cubs?

    August 29, 2020 at 11:35 am

  3. Mary Waugh

    I SO appreciate this update Mary. Indeed we would all feel better knowing that she may have died of natural causes. Thank you.

    August 29, 2020 at 11:35 am

  4. Kathy

    I wondered too what happened to her cubs. Glad that it appears to be old age but I am worried about the cubs. Thanks if you can shed any light on them.

    August 29, 2020 at 11:37 am

  5. Jo

    From the story & photo in the Valley News I got the impression that she was found out in the open on a sandbar in the river. This surprised me as I’d heard animals may go to a private place when they are unwell and perhaps aware of their impending end. But perhaps I am overgeneralizing or misinformed. Interested in others’ knowledge on this.

    August 29, 2020 at 11:38 am

  6. Cordelia Merritt

    Mary, Dear

    thank you so much for the Mink update. This is comforting – I’m not sure why but it is. Cordie


    August 29, 2020 at 11:41 am

  7. Jo

    P.S. Yes, this update is helpful, thank you. And the photo is joyful! I was so, so sad when I heard the news.

    August 29, 2020 at 11:41 am

  8. Wallie

    Thank you for that info-I hated to think ‘we’ might have been responsible-

    August 29, 2020 at 11:45 am

  9. Alice

    What a beautiful photo of a caring Mommy Bear.

    August 29, 2020 at 11:48 am

  10. Kate Schubart

    Very glad to read this, Mary! What a gorgeous girl she was. And how are your plans coming to move up to Wake Robin? Warm regards, Kate

    Sent from my iPad

    “The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain, is floating in mid-air, until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life.” Jane Addams

    August 29, 2020 at 11:58 am

  11. Randall Perkins

    So glad to learn Mink likely died of natural causes at a ripe old age. Yesterday’s photo of her with one of her many cubs touched me to my soul! Warmest thanks for continuing to keep me attached to the natural world. Stay safe and healthy.

    August 29, 2020 at 12:07 pm

  12. Sarah gilson

    Thanks so much, Mary, you don’t know me, but Jan chapman lives across from me at kendal, and I actually told her about your NATURALLY CURIOUS magic.
    So lovely to see the mink photo with the cubs. Thankyou.

    August 29, 2020 at 12:15 pm

  13. Susan Capparelle

    This is good news Mary. I wanted to email you yesterday after your initial post because it was so touching. still touching but as you say a little less sad


    Sent from my iPhone


    August 29, 2020 at 12:18 pm

  14. Thanks for the update. Yes, some comfort in knowing it was not humans who caused her death.

    August 29, 2020 at 12:32 pm

  15. Yes! Exactly, very comforting to know that is was just Natural Old Age and not a Motor Vehicle! Than you so Much! And once again another outstanding photograph! Thank You! 🙂 ❤

    August 29, 2020 at 1:05 pm

  16. Pauline Bogaert

    Here’s an update on that bear.


    August 29, 2020 at 1:10 pm

  17. Bonnie Adams

    HI Mary. So sad that Mink has passed but do you know the whereabouts and condition of her cubs? Bonnie Adams Hampton, NB, Canada

    August 29, 2020 at 1:51 pm

  18. Robin Worn

    This is does help knowing it was most likely natural causes. Thank you for the update.

    August 29, 2020 at 2:27 pm

  19. Jo-Ann Ecker

    Oh Mary…I have been following for a long time and I am so sad…but if she died of natural causes then at least humans didn’t have anything to do with it…will miss yours and the newspapers follow ups…thank you Mary for all you do

    August 29, 2020 at 3:02 pm

  20. Sue S

    That updated information is easier to deal with emotionally. And her longevity adds to her remarkable, heart warming story.
    Thank you for the update Mary.

    August 29, 2020 at 3:21 pm

  21. Deborah Luquer

    Oh, what a picture. Mink was so expressive.

    Sent from my iPad


    August 29, 2020 at 3:37 pm

  22. Thank you Mary for this update. I feel a lot better now, as cars are just missile’s killing everything in their path.

    August 29, 2020 at 3:43 pm

  23. Nancy Ellis

    Mary, that news is better. She is an inspiration and I am hopeful she died naturally.

    Sent from my iPhone


    August 29, 2020 at 3:43 pm

  24. Gaylee Amend

    I do hope your news is correct because, yes, it does give us comfort. And if she was between 20 and 30 living a black bear natural lifespan, imagine her having cubs every year up to the last. Hmmmm; maybe she deserved some retirement time —and then again, maybe her cubs were the full joy of her life. Thank you for your followup message.

    August 29, 2020 at 7:44 pm

  25. Kat Coriell

    Hi Mary, So sorry that you’ve lost a beautiful wild friend in Mink. I was wondering if you knew about the North American Bear Center, run by wildlife biologist Lynn Rogers, in Ely, Minnesota? I have learned so much about bears since I started following his work years ago. He developed a unique method of studying bears in the wild, where he would acclimate the bears to his presence, feed them a bit of almonds, and they eventually allowed him to approach and even touch them. He could check their heart with a stethoscope, and put on a tracking collar so that he could follow their movements over time. They didn’t become acclimated to people, and would still run from others, but he somehow gained their trust to allow him to be in their presence for short periods of time.

    He developed den cams, where he followed the birth and early months of bear cubs, and has overturned many myths about bears. Unfortunately, the Minn. Dept of Fish and Wildlife has been against him, because they feel his work will decrease the number of bear hunters, and they have restricted his research. But he carries on, and his bear center is a wonderful educational resource.

    He changed my fear of bears as aggressive, to understanding that they are primarily vegetarians, and very afraid of people, and won’t attack us unless they have no choice, like if they’re cornered in a building. I have come to wish I would run across a bear when I walk the trails in northern Maine, my home state, so I could glimpse their beauty.

    Your photos of Mink reminded me of many of Lynn’s pictures, showing a bear’s natural behavior in their natural habitat.

    Well, again, sorry about Mink, and thanks for all the wonderful stories and pics of the natural world that you send us. Best, Kat

    August 29, 2020 at 8:47 pm

    • Jo

      Feed them almonds? Check their hearts with a stethoscope? Wow! Thanks for sharing this.

      August 29, 2020 at 8:57 pm

  26. Virginia Cazort

    Are the Littles okay? Virginia

    Sent from my iPhone


    August 30, 2020 at 7:28 am

  27. Kathryn

    Thanks for that update, Mary.

    August 30, 2020 at 11:50 am

  28. Thanks for the update, Mary.
    Still sad but a better end than by being hit by a car… I guess. Like others here, I’m concerned about her cubs.
    Any info you can share about them, as you might find out about it, would be helpful.

    August 30, 2020 at 12:33 pm

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