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Bears, Unplugged

You may like bears and you may want to help protect bears, but you won't want anything to do with a bear plug. Not once you've heard where it's been.

The bear plug is a curious product of bear hygiene, for bears do not use their bedrooms for bathrooms, and excrement is never found in a bear's den. How do they survive the time holed up in their winter den without relieving themselves? That's where the bear plug comes in. A few days before retiring for the winter, a bear begins gorging itself on indigestible materials, things like leaves and pine needles and even pieces of its own hair. This roughage passes along the digestive track and lodges low in the large intestine, forming an anal plug as much as one foot long. And there it remains until spring, when the bear emerges and finally gets some relief.