Outdoors with Lauren: Bear education - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Outdoors with Lauren: Bear education

To schedule your own tour, contract Jeff Traska here.

Jeff Traska is the owner of the Wisconsin Black Bear Education Center in Wausau.

"They're not after us, they're after the smell that we provide."
He says putting your food away isn't enough, you could be attracting bears by what's in your pocket.
"Chap stick. This happens to be strawberry lemonade flavor.  This in your pocket and could invite a bear to go into your tent."

Traska tells me how he evolved from a hunter to someone who owns their own bear sanctuary, "The first time I saw a bear when I was hunting, and I was so amazed seeing the animal run through the woods. I found what I really enjoyed was being able to be close to them. I had to put my bow down to understand. What is it that I really want to learn."

Traskas long term goal is to rehabilitate orphaned and injured bears that can be released back into the wild.  For this furry family, they're here to stay.
"I've made the commitment to keep these guys for the rest of their life, and they'll live till their 40 or 50 years old. It's a long term commitment but I enjoy it."
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