We have seen the three yearlings in Wild Enclosure #4 keeping their social distance from each other, and as we’ve said, that is normal for yearlings, who have been dispersed by their mothers and are no longer a part of a family group. But all of a sudden that social dynamic changed. Look at what has happened.

First, Dahlia and Mulberry met at the base of a tree.
Later, Augustus visited Mulberry, who was on the platform. His laid back ears indicated that Augustus was nervous, but he was the one who initiated the visit.
Mulberry seemed very relaxed. Augustus is earnest.
Augustus decided to cross the Tire Bridge to the other platform.
He changed his mind and reversed course.
He stops for a drink of Tire Water, a favorite of the bears. It probably has some tasty insects in it, and is flavored with rubber. Yum!
Oh my! Dahlia and Mulberry are sleeping on the platform together!

What next? Only time will tell. We didn’t think we’d see any interactions between these yearlings, but it looks like we were wrong and they may become friends, after all. Stay tuned.

Marmalade Bear is one of the eight-month-old cubs residing at ABR. She is one of seven cubs in Wild Enclosure #2. Though she was timid at first, and hesitated to venture out into the enclosure, she is content now, and enjoying the amenities in the enclosure. This video shows Marmalade playing on the Tire Bridge. She is interested in the chain that holds the tires together, and we wonder if she is thinking that maybe she could get it apart. We can’t tell, of course, but it’s fun to watch the little cub play. Click here to see this cute little cub on the Tire Bridge.

Sycamore (ABR BEAR #325) is the very sick and underweight yearling bear currently living in the Red Roof Recovery Center. The curators gave him something extra special – a honey log! They drilled holes in a large branch and filled the holes with honeycomb, and Sycamore really liked it!

He ate from it and even slept near it at night.
The next morning he was up early, and immediately went for the honey log.
He isn’t eating only sweets, though, here he is chowing down on his food – bear diet pellets and fruits.

Each day that passes is a good day for Sycamore, and we continue to hope for his complete recovery. By the way, little Aralia Bear, in the Hartley House, received a honey log, too.

We will start today’s post with an update on our sick little Sycamore Bear. He is now in the Red Roof Recovery Center, where he has the use of both rooms.

The good news is that he is eating and drinking well and his plumbing is working. He sleeps most of the time, which he needs to do.
He has a good assortment of foods, and seems to like all of them, even the bear pellets that aren’t always popular with our cubs.

We still have to be very guarded, as he is in a fragile state, but there is hope. Each day is a plus for Sycamore.

Aralia is back in the Hartley House. Being in the Acclimation Pen where she could see and smell the outdoors but couldn’t get to it seemed to stress her terribly. She is happier now.
In Wild Enclosure #1, Marmalade takes a dip while Harlan forages.
We can see six of the cubs in Wild Enclosure #1; the seventh cub is behind the fence.
Three of the cubs in Wild Enclosure #2 sit in the woodpile. They like the logs and sticks, where they find tasty insects.
Two of the Rainbow Triplets are in view. The third is foraging in the underbrush.
Dahlia was the only yearling seen. The two boys were up in trees.

Everyone is OK today. All of the cubs and yearlings who are outside are doing well and chubbifying nicely. We will keep watching Sycamore and Aralia and hope they both make significant improvement.

A few days ago we posted about Bear #325 (Sycamore Bear) who arrived from Carter County TN. You may recall that he had bedded down in a ditch beside a construction site. When he was examined at UT College of Veterinary Medicine he was found to be very anemic, jaundiced, and harboring internal parasites. After being held in ICU, Sycamore did finally come to the Hartley House at ABR. Sycamore is a very sick little yearling, and will require lots of TLC and nutritious food. Here are some photos of him in Hartley House.

This picture shows how emaciated little Sycamore really is.
He sat on the tree branches in his room. They probably seemed familiar to him.
Sycamore went to his water bowl for a drink. It was a good sign that he was able to walk over there.
He ate some food and produced some scat that was a normal color. Another good sign.
Sycamore sat by his bed.
Here is where he slept for most of the night.
He got up for a middle-of-the-night snack.
He went back to sleep.
Sycamore had enough energy to walk into the other room of Hartley House.
His energy depleted, Sycamore went back to sleep.

Of course it goes without saying that sleep is what a sick little bear needs most. We are glad that he is taking advantage of the opportunity for plenty of sleep in a safe and protected place. His condition is still extremely fragile, but we will keep hoping for the best.

Sparks Bear was the yearling who arrived in May and spent three months at ABR before being released back into the wild in August. He was a real success story, and we thought you would enjoy this video that highlights his story. Click here to watch and recall this handsome yearling , now free and wild as he should be.

Yesterday we posted about the arrival of Bear #325 and stated that he was a cub. We have learned that he is actually a very underweight and depleted yearling bear – the same age as Mulberry, Dahlia, and Augustus, about nineteen months old. We apologize for the mistake. As you might guess, the fact that he is over a year old makes his situation even more dire. Apparently he has been having a lot of trouble finding food, and what he was finding did not provide the nutrition he needed. He arrived at ABR yesterday, but his condition is precarious, and the curators are extremely guarded in their prognosis. Sycamore is in Hartley House for now.

Sycamore Bear in Hartley House, lying by his food bowl.

With Sycamore moving into Hartley House, Aralia Bear, the cub who was residing there, needed to vacate the rooms. She is now in Acclimation Pen #1, and will be released into Wild Enclosure #3 in a few days.

Aralia probably is enjoying the proximity to the outdoors. She can climb, see and smell the trees, and feel less confined.

We have a few more photos to share today, also.

Sassafras Bear is looking good. Her shiny fur and chubbifying body are good signs.
Another good-looking cub – Tweetsie has grown a lot since her rescue.
Flicker and Firefly Bear – what beautiful cubs!
A pile of sleeping cubs in Wild Enclosure #2. It’s hard to tell where one ends and another begins.
Another assortment of sleeping cubbies – these are napping in the daytime.
Brothers Indigo and Juniper wrestle at the pool.
These yearlings keep their distance from one another. The third yearling in this enclosure, Augustus, is keeping his distance up a tree.

Now the count at ABR is 18 cubs and 4 yearlings. We have our fingers crossed for Sycamore Bear. All the others are doing well.

Late on Saturday September 12, a very sick little seven-month-old cub arrived at ABR. He was rescued in Carter County, where he had bedded down in a ditch by a construction site. Bear #325, nicknamed Sycamore Bear, weighs about 40 pounds. He went to the UT College of Veterinary Medicine and because of his condition they kept him in the ICU for two nights. Here are pictures of Sycamore at UT.

Poor little cub! This was from when he arrived at the UTCVM and was being checked.
Sycamore Bear in the ICU, being warmed by a special blanket.

We are so fortunate to have a good relationship with the vets at UT. They have run a battery of tests to discern what is causing his severe jaundice and anemia. The vets think he has an infestation of internal parasites, which would explain the anemia. He has received an iron injection and medicine to eliminate the parasites. The good news is that he is eating and drinking normally and eliminating scat. At first they thought he might need a blood transfusion, but now they seem to think that won’t be necessary.

The plan is to release him to the care of ABR as soon as possible. Stay tuned.

We have seen little bears at ABR tackle various projects, and our newest arrival, #324, Aralia Bear, had her own project in her rooms in Hartley House. She liked to drag her swingy ball (that doesn’t swing in her room) around. She had a problem though, her bed was in the way. Here is how she worked it out.

Aralia has a “draggy” ball, instead of a swingy ball. Note her bed has been attacked.
Aralia worked on exploding her bed to remove the stuffing. Even cubs have very sharp claws.
The bed presented her with a problem. She couldn’t drag her ball because the bed was in the way.
Look what she managed to do!
But the bed was still in the way.
She couldn’t reach the ball. Now what?
She was having difficulties, but she is a resourceful little bear.
She rolled her bed into a sausage.
There! She stands on her neatly rolled bed.
That takes care of the bed – now for the draggy ball.
Now she’s got it!
Aralia drags the ball to where she wants it.
The bed is in the way again!

We’ll leave her to her project and take a look at the bush, aralia spinosa, aka Devil’s Walking Stick, for which she is named. Mulberry likes to hide behind it when he rests on his platform.

Little bears like Aralia can be very persistent when they work on a project of their own choosing. We have seen this many times. Aralia worked until she accomplished her goal. It’s not hard to see why bears are considered to be very intelligent animals.

The three yearlings are together (but apart) in Wild Enclosure #4. Their choice to stay apart sometimes leads to unexpected drama.

The female yearling, Dahlia, makes her way to the Cubby Pool.
Mulberry appeared out of the underbrush, and both bears were startled and ran away.
After a bit, Mulberry returned to the pool.

We can’t see Dahlia (just her shadow) but Mulberry kept his eye on her.
Mulberry ran off again.
The curators flushed the pool, adding fresh water.
Mulberry came back to swim in the fresh water.
He investigates the spigot from which the water came into the pool.
Mulberry found an apple floating in the water.
He finishes his swim and heads for his resting platform.
Oh no! Dahlia Bear has moved in and is sleeping in his space!
Disgruntled Mulberry moves to the opposite platform.
He shows his annoyance by ripping up boards.
There is plenty of room and they are separated, so what’s the problem?
Augustus watched the drama from his tree.

The yearlings had drama, but the cubs mainly slept.

All but one of the cubs in Wild Enclosure #1.
And here is the other cub in Wild Enclosure #1 – the reclusive Clover Bear.
All seven cubs in Wild Enclosure #2 on the platform.
The Rainbow Triplets in Wild Enclosure #3.

Yearling drama and peaceful cubbies – what a day! No telling what’s next.