Get Even More Visitors To Your Blog, Upgrade To A Business Listing >>

Colorado Scientist Dresses Like Animals to Study Animals


DENVER (AP) — Planning the next mission is always a little tedious for Joel Berger. Before the adventure, comes the packing.

"I'll bring a couple of GPS units," Berger said, going through the pile of gear inside his Fort Collins home. "Lots of different kind of batteries for my GoPro, for my different Nikon cameras."

You could call Joel a spy of sorts. He travels to remote destinations, carries plenty of gadgets and never forgets his disguise.

"Here's part of our Polar Bear," Berger said, placing a fake polar bear head over his own. "We have an entire uniform that comes with the polar bear."

For the past ten years, Berger's gone undercover in the arctic to study herds of musk oxen.

"It's this Animal that's got massive fur — hair that droops down, almost to the ground," Berger described. "They live in these herds and they're cold adapted and live only in the arctic."

Berger is a professor at Colorado State University and scientist for the Wildlife Conservation Society in New York.

"I want to know how animals think, how animals act, how animals survive," Berger said.

Berger's traveled to Alaska, Greenland and the remote Wrangel Island, north of the Russian mainland to study musk oxen in the wild.

"We've been close," Berger said. "My colleagues and I have been very close."

In Alaska, Berger will dress up as a grizzly bear. On Wrangel Island, he'll don his polar bear suit.

"We want to know how muskox are going to respond to this," Berger said, pointing to the polar bear head.

Berger even brings along a fake caribou head.

"When I'm playing caribou, the animals don't worry about me," he said. "They're not happy about polar bears. They're not happy about grizzly bears."

Recently, Berger and his colleagues published a study on musk oxen based on seven years' worth of observations and data collection.

"We're trying to understand how animals grow and the factors that influence it," Berger said.

Berger's research looks at how a changing arctic climate is changing the musk ox.

"With more rain on snow events, we have more periods in which mothers can't access their food," Berger explained. "It's essentially like having a salad that becomes ice-coated. Pregnant mothers can't penetrate the ice, don't have access to the food, their babies suffer and it has long-term consequences because the babies then never grow to the size that they should."

Next month, Berger is making another trip to Wrangel Island and will work alongside Russian scientists. You can bet he'll bring along his disguises.

"How else do we learn how animals are going to react unless we're looking through their eyes?" Berger said.


Information from: KUSA-TV,

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Best States

  • #1 Massachusetts
  • #2 New Hampshire
  • #3 Minnesota
  • #4 North Dakota
  • #5 Washington
  • See Rankings List

Recommended Articles

10 States With the Most Labor Force Participation

Casey Leins
Nov. 29, 2017

These are the states with the largest share of people either employed or looking for work.

Best States for the New Economy

Gaby Galvin
Nov. 6, 2017

A new report ranks states on how well they are equipped to benefit from the economy of the future.

UNC Wilmington Chancellor to Undergo Heart Bypass Surgery

Jan. 27, 2018

The chancellor at a UNC system school says he will undergo heart bypass surgery.

Dogs Seized From North Carolina Owners for Third Time

Jan. 27, 2018

Police in North Carolina have seized dogs from their owners for the third time in three months.

California Governor Pushes for 5 Million Zero-Emission Cars

Jan. 27, 2018

Gov. Jerry Brown is proposing a $2.5 billion plan to help put 5 million zero-emission vehicles on the road by 2030.

Ex-Colleagues Call New US Attorney in Manhattan Apolitical

Jan. 27, 2018

The new top federal prosecutor in Manhattan has many strong Republican ties, but people who know Geoffrey Berman say he will not bring politics into the office whose territory includes Trump Tower.

Loaded Handgun Found at Florida High School

Jan. 27, 2018

Authorities say a loaded gun has been found at a Florida high school.

Mom Tipped Authorities to Catch Suspect in Daughter's Death

Jan. 27, 2018

Leesburg mother tipped law enforcement to catch suspect in daughter's killing.

Man Who Fled Country Gets 15 Years for Fatal DUI Crash

Jan. 27, 2018

A man who fled the country following a fatal drunken driving crash in Florida has been sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Record Number of Inmates Died in Florida Prisons Last Year

Jan. 27, 2018

Record number of inmates died in Florida prisons last year. And they died younger than past years.

Load MoreOriginal Article

The post Colorado Scientist Dresses Like Animals to Study Animals appeared first on Shareabler.

This post first appeared on Shareabler, please read the originial post: here

Share the post

Colorado Scientist Dresses Like Animals to Study Animals


Subscribe to Shareabler

Get updates delivered right to your inbox!

Thank you for your subscription