If you ever had any doubt about how very dexterous a black bear is, how’s this for evidence?
This is a watermelon produce sticker that I found in the bear yard yesterday while scooping. (yes, we are using up all those watermelons on my desk) I’ve actually found even smaller apple and orange stickers before, taken off so smoothly that you’re still able to read the produce number!
I’m not sure whether they are using their teeth or their claws, but it’s fairly impressive. Two things have convinced me that it’s not just the sticker “falling” off the produce. 1) it is a great frustration when I make up the bear food and have to pry those darn things off (and I have primate fingers!) and 2) I’ve seen the bears shell sunflower seeds better than a baseball benchwarmer.
Even though the produce stickers would not be harmful to the bears, we usually try to de-sticker all the fruit and vegetables before feeding. Occasionally we’ll miss a sticker, and Urs, Virginia, Mimi, and Gus take care of things for us!