Before the cubs can be released into the Wild Enclosure, they must be weaned off of the bear milk replacement formula they have been eating since their arrival. With that in mind, the curators are introducing them to solid foods like fruits, yogurt, and cereal. Bears eat many different kinds of fruit, and the cubs have been introduced to chopped up cherries and blueberries, added to their formula. The consensus is that these new foods are yummy!

We begin with the Hartley House cubs asleep.

Siblings Dumplin’ and Tweetsie are on the hammock, while Ferdinand sleeps underneath.
The cubs have dashed into the other room as the curator arrived to clean.
Cleaning takes place while the cubs are absent. Cedar chips are swept out; dining area is cleaned.
Dinner is served. Come on in, cubs!
The cubs arrive and go straight to the bowls.
Ferdinand tries to move the “anti-spillage-device” aka, rock.
The rock doesn’t move! Just give him time. He will succeed before too long. Bears, even cubs, are strong,
After dinner the cubs do their happy dance.
The next morning, breakfast includes blueberries.
Cubs agree – the blueberries are delicious!
One cub is down for the count while another cub cleans out one of the bowls.

It’s not surprising that the cubs are enjoying the cherries and blueberries. These are among the favorite summer foods of bears. The cubs are growing up!

The two sisters have their own version of “sleep, eat, repeat.” They are awake in this post, and investigating something new in their room. Bears, including cubs, are always curious about anything new and will investigate it as soon as they notice it.

Earlier in the day, Curator Ashley hung a single firehose in the girls’ room. Something new!
When they came in, the sisters were interested in the new addition.
They soon tried it out and discovered that the tightrope was fun. Look at that balance!
In typical cub fashion, they get to work trying to take it down. Wonder if they will succeed.

How about the yearling, Sparks Bear?

There he is, sleeping on the platform in his enclosure. If not for the arrow, he would be invisible to us.
That’s all, folks! Sparks leaves the platform to go into the underbrush where he really will become invisible.

Sparks is behaving just as a yearling bear should. Yearlings are the lowest in the bear hierarchy, so they usually try to stay hidden. Sparks is being a good bear. The cubs, on the other hand, are not even slightly worried about whether they are hidden or not. Cubs just want to eat, sleep, and play – our cubs are scoring well in all of these activities. They are good bears, too.

The three cubs in The Hartley House are active sleepers. They don’t stay in one place long.

The three cubs sprawl on the floor to sleep.
Sometimes they sleep in a cubby pile with or without “Not a polar bear.”
Sometimes one or the other will sleep in the Firehose Hammock.
More moving lands them under the hammock.
Their breakfast is laid out neatly in the next room.
Dumplin’ and Tweetsie are the first ones to arrive.
Ferdinand joins the party.
Uh-oh! Dumplin’ has a spill.
Ferdinand comes to see what happened. It’s still good. Let’s lick it up.
Full tummies=sleepy cubs. Time for a nap.
Tweetsie has a unique method for drinking water.
Asleep again. Any bets on how long it will last?

Ferdinand, Dumplin’ and Tweetsie Bear are doing what they are supposed to do – eating and sleeping. They will grow quickly at this rate.

Our last post was centered on the three cubs in The Hartley House, so this time we move over to the Red Roof Recovery Center. As you know, the sisters Raven and Chickadee Bear are quarantined for 3 weeks to get rid of the ringworm fungus before they can join the other cubs.

Raven and Chickadee sleep on their “not a polar bear.”
In the early morning, the cubs decide to play. No one can tell them “no”, so racing into the culvert den seems like a good thing to do.
Later in the morning, the sisters try to drag their bear into the other room in the recovery center. That’s quite a task for two little cubs.

And as for the yearling, Sparks Bear?

Waking up, Sparks tends to his foot. Bears lick and bite their feet to take care of their footpads.
Earlier, Sparks was sleeping on his platform. It appears that his belly is getting bigger. Good bear!
Day has dawned, and Sparks wakes up. Soon he will go down to have breakfast. Keep eating, Sparks!

It looks like all of our residents are putting on the weight they need. Good bears!

The cubs at ABR keep busy doing a number of things. Sometimes they are quiet (like when they sleep) but not too often.

Here they sleep to recharge their batteries after playing.
Closeup of Tweetsie. Doesn’t she look sweet and innocent?
Closeup of her brother Dumplin’. He is relaxed and asleep, also.
Ferdinand looks very snug in his spot under the climbing structure.
Naptime over. Cubs love to chew, scratch, and gnaw on wood. They also like to climb on the Firehose Hammock.
Ferdinand tries to undo the Firehose Hammock while Tweetsie and Dumplin’ try to move the large bear into their dining room.

Dumplin’ balances nicely while his sister works on demolition.
Ferdinand is in the next room. What is he plotting?

Another day with the three cubs in The Hartley House. There’s always something going on.

What? Flying? Yes, Sparks Bear did fly (sort of) to get from one part of his platform to the other part. The tire bridge would accomplish that, but as you’ll see, Sparks did not trust it.

Sparks checks out the tire bridge a bit hesitantly.
He studies the unfamiliar bridge, testing the feel of the tire with his paw.
He pulls back, as if saying “No way!”
He resumes his previous position on the platform.
He flies! It was a giant leap for bearkind!
Reaching a tree some 6 feet away, Sparks descends.
He climbed up on the other side of the platform. Mission accomplished without the use of that strange contraption.

As for the cubs …..

What is going on in The Hartley House? A cub sleeping in the hammock on top of one of the cows? Another cub trying to move the bed?
And in the Red Roof Recovery Center, two sleepy sisters are quiet, for a while.

So now you know the story of the flying bear. And, as you can see, the cubs are fine. Everything is good at ABR.

We have photos of all the cubs today, the two in the Red Roof Recovery Center (Raven and her sister, Chickadee) and the three in The Hartley House (Ferdinand, Dumplin’ and Tweetsie). We’ll start with the two most recent arrivals.

The sisters slept in their “teepee.”
During the night they changed rooms, but still slept in a teepee.
Raven and Chickadee share breakfast.
Chickadee climbs to the top of the teepee/climby structure. Raven plays with a stick.
Follow the leader. Raven climbs up, too.
Raven climbs back down.

Over in The Hartley House:

The three cubs slept in some version of a cubby pile all night.
Tweetsie was the first one to check out their breakfast.

A few minutes later, Ferdinand joined her.
Then Dumplin’ arrived. Tweetsie was puzzled by the rock in the water bowl. It was placed by the curators to thwart the cubs’ innate desire to overturn water bowls.
After breakfast, the three cubs set off to make mischief of one kind or another.

When all five cubs are together, after the sisters are free of the ringworm fungus, we suspect that there will be much mischief, chaos, and mayhem! Watch this space.