A few days ago, I helped release a bear we’d caught in a culvert trap. We trapped this bear because he’s been quite busy in developed areas of Yosemite Valley and we wanted to get a radio collar on him so we could keep better tabs on him (and scare him from these developed areas more often).

The bear was a bit slow to recover from the drugs that we used to anesthetize him. So, before we released him, we looked into the trap a few times and poked him with a stick to judge if he was alert enough to be released. He was, but he was also remarkably calm. (I’m always amazed at how some bears are so incredibly calm when they’re in traps… even when it’s their first experience ever being trapped.)

In any case, one of the times I looked into the trap, his face was against the holes, and I found my nose just a few inches from his nose. This 302-pound bear took a few sniffs and ignored me.

It was very cool.