Bear Therapy . . .

Bear therapy … ever heard of it? Well, trust me when I say that there is nothing better for easing your tension and making your problems drift away. The therapy consists of finding a group of wild black bear cubs and watching them play, climb and sleep in the tree tops. Simple, right? Well, it is if you live in northern Minnesota and it is summer time.

Yesterday, I took a spur of the moment bear escape with a friend to visit the Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary near Orr, MN. I try to escape there at least once each summer to visit the bears. The bears are wild (no fences) and for $7 you are taken by bus deep into the woods to a large raised deck where you can watch the bears for 3+ hours (depending on what time dusk is). Last night, there were over 50 bears visiting the area for a nutty/fruity dinner. The most entertaining show was put on by 8 to 10 six month old bear cubs who decided to do a lot of climbing in the trees right up close to the viewing deck. They are expert acrobats and can climb as well as a monkey … it is amazing to see those big bundles of fuzz hanging by their big, padded and clawed feet. A few hours with the bears brings about psychological peace … trust me … it is the cheapest most therapeutic few hours you can find.

Great furry, bear therapy is always welcome in my life, but I really needed some this week. My trip yesterday was a huge, needed blessing for me. Here is a glimpse at what my bear therapy looked like . . .



(all photos were taken by me … and my wonderful Sony camera)

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~ by bearyweather on July 30, 2010.

12 Responses to “Bear Therapy . . .”

  1. Bearyweather, this is great! I love the photos, they are hilarious and adorable. Were you that close to the bears or does your camera have excellent zoom abilities? Thanks for the post and suggestion to go out to nature for relaxation. I live in the Boston area and yesterday took a walk around a world landmark that happens to be in my backyard, Walden Pond. I love the light on the water, still as beautiful as when Thoreau was the only visitor, and the glow of the late afternoon sun in the leaves, and the clarity of the water. We’ve had a lot of rain this year so the kettle pond is fuller than usual, reducing the beach area and visitor allotment. So it’s even more precious to spend time there. Enjoyed your post. –Linda

    • Thanks, I am glad you enjoyed them. Yes, I have a 15x zoom, but I did not really need all that power. The trunks of the trees they were climbing in were only about 6 feet from the viewing deck … the little bears were extremely close. It was a great day to be there .. they do not always choose those particular trees, they are usually farther away (I feel blessed).
      I don’t think I could live in a city again … but, with Waldon Pond in your back yard, you have the best of both worlds. Nature heals a lot of things . . .

  2. Wow- look at those photos! They are amazing 🙂
    I’ve never heard of bear therapy but whenever I get too tense or stressed out I either watch my two dogs play or join them and all is well again!

    • Thank you.
      Bear therapy is special … only once a year. For the rest of the year, I also believe in the benefits of dog therapy, deer therapy, bird therapy, kitten therapy, etc . . . it all works miracles.

  3. You actually got to witness that? How lucky are you! Thanks for sharing those fabulous pictures!

    • Yes … I do feel lucky that the bears decided to be close to the deck that day. The bears are quite entertaining no matter what day you visit ..

  4. Wow! What an experience. And what pictures! Thank you for sharing them with us. They (and the bears, of course) are gorgeous!

    • There were really big bears there, too … they have gorgeous, shiny black coats this time of year and I took a few pictures of them, too … however, the little cubs had most of my attention that day as you can see.
      Thanks for visiting.

  5. Wow! Those bears got pretty close to you! My friends told me about this place while we were up there, but the driver was actually a little scared of the place because she’d been so close to the bears. I thought it would be pretty cool, but I was outvoted.

    • It is very safe to visit the bears at the sanctuary. Years ago, visitors walked among the bears (like the workers do to feed them) … Now, you are up nice and high off the ground on the deck (it has a railing all the way around). It protects the bears from the growing crowds .. and the people from doing something stupid, too. The bears are very calm and passive … sometimes playful with each other .. they are not aggressive or mean.

  6. Seeing a bear where I live would probably not be all that therapeutic, but yours are adorable. Love the pictures.

  7. Bearyweather, what great photos! Love them so much…Especially those third and fourth ones. Bear therapy sounds like a good thing. I am going to remember this for the next bear I see!

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