The date for Bud Bear’s release was set, and preparations were being made. It’s not as difficult to prepare for the release of one bear as it was a few weeks ago to prepare for the releases of ten cubs! This day was pleasant and sunny.

This morning, Bud sat on the grass, enjoying the sunshine.
The curators closed the gate to the Acclimation Pen while Bud was in another part of the enclosure.
Curators Tom and Bailey made repairs to the resting platform.
When the gate was lifted, Bud came inside to eat.

His caboose has achieved very satisfactory curvature!
As usual, Bud checked to see if the door was open (as usual, it wasn’t).
Bud headed up to the resting platform. He climbs very well with no trace of his injury.
Bud sat on the platform, looking out.
Bud noticed that there was something different about the platform.
Bud didn’t stay long before he headed out into the enclosure again.
He went outside to roam.
Bud spent his last night at ABR on his daybed.
He was up at 8:00 in the morning.
The curators had put treats out in the Acclimation Pen for Bud.

The stage was set for the final act – the workup and release of our yearling, Bud Bear. Stay tuned.

Today was a beautiful, sunny day, but cold. Of course, cold doesn’t bother our yearling, who has a nice warm, winter coat. His day went like this –

Bud is going to his daybed for a nice morning nap.
After waking up, he pondered what to do next.
He headed for the Acclimation Pen, perhaps thinking of a snack.
Look at those paws! They are HUGE! Bud is a big bear now!
He decides to visit the resting platform. It’s good to see him in the act of climbing.
We are glad to see that he is able to climb with ease.
It seems that he has done all the damage to the tarp that he can. He simply sat and looked out the “window” he had made.
He climbs down as easily as he climbs up. Good bear with completely healed leg!
He went over to check the food wheel.
Bud tried the door again and found it is still locked.
He decided to leave the Acclimation Pen.
Bud returned to his daybed to take a nap in the sunshine. In no time, he was asleep.
Sleep well, Bud. You’ll be back in the wild before long.

It’s sad to see Bud Bear wandering about. He seems to be at loose ends as he tries to fill his hours and days. We’ll be very glad to see him released, and there’s no doubt that he will be glad, too! It won’t be as cushy a life, but it will be the life he was born into, and the life he should live. Keep in mind the fact that as “good” as his life is at ABR, it isn’t natural and the confinement is like a prison to him.

It’s been a windy and rainy day – all the snow is gone, of course. Bears of all ages dislike wind – it makes it hard for them to use those wonderfully sensitive noses and also disrupts their hearing. And so, being bears, their instinct is to climb a tree. Not what we would do, but we aren’t bears.

The wind started first, and Bud had a typical reaction.

Bud approached a tree near his Big Dig, in the corner of his enclosure.
He starts up the tree. Will this tree be large enough to support his weight?
Oh my! It looks precarious!
Yikes! Bud is climbing higher!
And now, even higher!
This can’t be comfy for our big yearling!
Bud settles himself on the branches. It doesn’t seem like they will hold him!
Here is a view from a different camera. It still seems precarious to us.
A close-up of Bud on the tree. Those branches look pretty small to support Bud.
As the wind let up, Bud climbed down from his perch.
Almost down. and the tree is still standing!
Off he went to his daybed. . .
. . . where he promptly fell asleep! Sound asleep!
Rain started to fall, waking Bud up. He tasted the raindrops and left for his culvert den.
Off he went to his den.
Bud crawled into the middle of the den. Here is his stunt double, because Bud can’t be seen now.

Bud Bear continues to demonstrate his readiness for hibernation. When he is released, which depends on the weather and the wildlife officers, he will probably quickly find a den and spend a couple of months sleeping through the rest of the winter. Watch this space.

Our yearling, Bud Bear, has proven to be a routine-oriented bear. He is following the same pattern of behavior each day.

Bud Bear has been sleeping on his daybed recently as long as it’s not snowing.
Morning came and he was still there, still asleep.
He entered the Acclimation Pen for a snack at the food wheel. It was about the same time as his snack yesterday.
Say what?
Bud is continuing to grow rounder. Look at his caboose!
Bud showed us what a good climber he is.
He stayed for a while behind the camera’s time stamp.
Down he came. He’s an agile tree-climber! As soon as he was down he lay down to take a short nap.
Bud makes the rounds of his enclosure.
Bud hasn’t done any more digging but he checks on his hole when he walks by.

Bud Bear is giving us a lesson in the winter behavior of a male bear. For the most part, they don’t enter dens, but choose to sleep for varying periods of time in daybeds. And, if they find some leftover nuts they take advantage of the snacks, just as Bud takes advantage of the food wheel. He will fit right into the program when he is released!

We have a video today in which Curator Coy, Curator Tori, and Director Dana discuss and explain the construction of Wild Enclosure #5, which is going to be underway as soon as our yearling, Bud Bear, is released. And that release will happen as soon as the weather cooperates! We’re sure you will find this fascinating and it will explain how the project will be completed. What a job! Click here to see the discussion and learn about the construction of the new enclosure.

Bud Bear can’t be released into the wild until we stop getting snow. Our first snowstorm occurred just a few days ago, but more is on the way. So, for the time being, Bud Bear remains at ABR. Compared to just a few months ago, when there was a lot of activity in the enclosures, this week Bud has been very lethargic, sleepy, and is acting like a pre-hibernation bear.

He spends a lot of time in his culvert den.
After sleeping through the night, the morning sun shone on his nose,
He (sort of) got up.
He actually left his den, showing how round he is and how fluffy he looks with his winter coat.
Bud sat down. He still looks only half-awake.
Bud takes a drink from the Cub Tub.
Sometimes he sleeps in his daybed, by the base of a tree.
The next morning he was still there.
He woke up in the daybed.
Awake, but not for long . . .
. . . Zzzzzz – he fell asleep again.
Here is Bud’s current home away from home – Wild Enclosure #4.

The winter storm that’s on its way may delay Bud’s release further; time will tell. We just hope that our power will stay on and the internet service will continue!

We promised to post regularly, but the snowstorm in Townsend, where we live, knocked out our internet. So this was our first chance since the storm. Bud Bear has been spending a fair amount of time in his culvert den, and the first photo shows him snug in his den.

Doesn’t he look cozy? The den is just the right size for Bud!
The tummy must still be filled, though, so Bud enters the Acclimation Pen to eat peanuts, pecans, and apples. Then it was back to the den and to sleep.
This is Bud’s Wild Enclosure with its snow covering. There was about 5 inches of snow.
The power went out, but fortunately there are generators that provide electricity.
A beautiful snow scene.

The snow is melting under the sunshine today, but according to the weather forecast we will receive more in a couple of days. Bud was due for release yesterday, but now his departure is pushed forward to next week. Stay tuned to see when he has his Big Day!

The curators had not seen Bud Bear climb a tree since he went into the Wild Enclosure. They were sure he could, because he went up on the resting platform, but they had yet to observe him climbing. To be absolutely sure that his leg has healed, they wanted to witness the act of climbing. His New Year’s gift was the cameras catching him actually climbing up a tree out in the enclosure.

He was sleeping in his daybed by the tree.
Oh bother! Around midnight, it started to rain. Bud could have gone into the Culvert Den or the Acclimation Pen, but being a bear, he equates safety with a tree, so that’s what he chose.
Bud started to climb, and did it well with no sign of difficulty!
Up he went!
He is a good climber and his healed leg performed well.
As the rain got heavier, Bud settled himself high up in the tree.
The rain turned torrential, registering as white stripes in the camera images.
After this photo, the rain created a solid white sheet, obscuring everything.
It didn’t last too long, and Bud came down to spend the rest of the night in his Culvert Den.
He woke up and gave a yawn.
Bud went into the Acclimation Pen to feast on nuts and apples. Bud is ready to return to the wild, especially after his display of climbing ability.

We are betting that Bud will be released within the next week. Watch this space to see if we’re right!

The curators have constructed “dens” of various kinds in the Wild Enclosures, mostly out of culverts. Usually, the cubs and yearlings ignore these structures unless they are playing on them in the summer. But our resident (soon to be released) yearling, Bud, has adopted one of the culvert dens. This is likely because it is getting closer and closer to hibernation time, and Bud knows it!

As the arrows show, Bud is standing next to the culvert that is his adopted den.
We can see the length of his den, with arrows pointing to the front and back doors.
There he is, snug in his culvert den.
Hi, Bud! The glowing eyes give him away.
Bud had a long sleep inside his den.
He got up to use the facilities and get a drink.
Bud took a long drink from The Cub Tub. Bears are thirsty at this time of year.
He slept in the den for the rest of the night.
He turned over and slept on his back for a while.
What a big yawn!
Bud visits the Food Wheel in the Acclimation Pen. He now has pecans and acorns, in addition to the peanuts. He’s shown that he can crack and eat the harder nuts.

Up to the platform he goes. He’s still interested in what is on the other side of the fence, where he tore off some tarp.
He chews on the fence, but not in a frantic manner.
A few minutes in the Acclimation Pen is enough. Bud heads back outside.

Bud is a healthy and chonky yearling. He will definitely be ready to resume his wild life soon.

Our yearling, who has made a great recovery and will soon be released, posed for us and we have some photos of this fine-looking bear to share with you.

Here is the handsome yearling, standing outside the Acclimation Pen (where his food is).
Just like a real photo shoot, Bud poses for his portrait.
He knows he’s a good-looking dude!
Bud turns his hear to show us his full frontal shot.
Enough posing! Bud goes into the Acclimation Pen for his breakfast.
Bud takes a soak in The Cub Tub. The water has to be changed frequently!

We’re sure you agree that this is a handsome young bear. It won’t be long before he returns to the forest habitat, where he belongs. Watch this space.