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The answerPosted: July 23, 2012

By Larry Halverson/Friends of Kootenay

The answer to ‘What is it?’
The previous photo was a close up of this tree – showing a bear’s teeth marks on the inner bark.

It is not certain why bears strip the bark from trees to feed on the inner cambium layer. However, there is some thought that they eat the inner bark like candy, as it is quite sweet. Others believe that, since it occurs mostly in the spring the bears eat the cambium as a laxative to clean out their digestive system and get them ready for a summer diet of greens. Whatever the reason, it is a sure sign that bears use the area.

Bear stripped spruce tree along the Kimpton Creek Trail – Photo by Larry Halverson


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