My feet were just starting to get numb from standing on the snow-packed trail when the activity over by the den changed. Students with University of Wisconsin Stevens Point’s (UWSP) Wisconsin Black Bear Project, led by Dr. Cady Sartini, plus several other wildlife professionals, were working together around the mouth of the den.

A student broke away from the group and headed to where we non-researchers were stationed out of the way. Abby was cradling something small against her chest, and the adoring smile that lit up her face gave it away: she was carrying a bear cub.

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