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January 23, 2013
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Incline elementary students pen essays about bears

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. - Below are four essays written recently by second-grade students in Eric Harssema's class at Incline Elementary School. The students have been studying bears around the world, Harssema said, and first three essays focus on different types of bruins, while the fourth is a recap of the class's Spooner Lake field trip.

Sun Bears are interesting in many ways. The Sun Bear is the smallest type of bear is the bear family and it's the size of a large dog. The Sun Bear has a yellow patch on its chest which looks like the sun. The sun bear has black short fur. Habitat is in Southeast Asia in the tropical rain forest. Southeast Asia has mild to warm temperatures so they don't hibernate. The sun bear's food/prey includes termites, birds, honey and bees, the tips of palm trees and small mammals. They are omnivores. Farmers hunt the Sun Bear for fur and they are threatened. An interesting fact about Sun Bear is that they are nocturnal which means they are active at night. Most sun bears are found in zoos. The Sun Bear's babies make good pets, but become hard to handle at 4 years old. The sun bears have long tongues to dig out honey from the bee hive.

Spectacled Bears are interesting in many ways. They are very small black bears. They also have whitish cream fur, around their eyes. They live in the cloud forests which are found in South America. They have nests in trees where they eat and sleep. It is a very warm climate so they do not hibernate . They are omnivores which means they eat everything. They eat insects, fruit, flowers and rodents. They are threatened because farmers protect their crops so the bears don't get the food. Poachers hunt them for their bones, fat, and gallbladders which are . The interesting facts about the Spectacled bears are that they are nocturnal which means they sleep in the day and are awake in the night. They have 1 to 3 cubs per litter. They live with their mother for one year. Their mother carries them on her back and they are very shy and solitary animals.

Grizzly bears are interesting in many ways. The Grizzly bear is medium sized and it has a large hump of muscle and fat over its shoulders. The Grizzly bear only lives in North America. Some Grizzlies make dens in hollow trees. They eat salmon, moose, caribou, carrion, bulbs and roots. They have long claws for digging mice. Grizzlies are threatened bears meaning they have small populations. Habitat destruction and poaching is why there are so few grizzlies. Some facts about grizzlies are they can run as fast as a car, about 30 miles per hour. They are very solitary and territorial animals. They tolerate each other at rivers to catch salmon, but then they return to their own space for winter.

We did and heard lots of things at Spooner Lake. First we went on a nature walk, and we stopped for one minute to listen to some birds. Then we went on a scavenger hunt to find things in nature. Next we had a snack.

After that we tested the lake water. We tested the temperature of the lake and it was 42F. We also tested PH level and the dissolved oxygen. The dissolved oxygen and the PH level were both an 8. That means the water is fresh and healthy.

Then we went bird watching and my friend Denali got stung by a wasp. She had to go to the ER. We watched some Coots on the lake. Coots are a type of bird.

Lastly we ate lunch and learned about artifacts. We learned that the Washoe Indians would live in Lake Tahoe in the summer and go to a different part of Nevada in the winter. One of their camping spots was at Spooner Lake. They have proof of it because the Washoe Indians made grinding holes in the rocks.

After that we went back to school. All in all it was a great day.

- These essays were submitted to the Bonanza by Eric Harssema.

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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Jan 23, 2013 05:48PM Published Jan 23, 2013 05:46PM Copyright 2013 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.