In our last post we showed how Marmalade Bear was moved into Wild Enclosure #4. Then, Clover and Aralia were moved to join her, finally getting out of the Hartley House. We are sure that they are happy about this new situation, but before it actually happened they were unaware of the changes to take place.

In their last hours in Hartley House, Clover and Aralia played on their bed.
Clover checked out the Visiting Vents, and was very likely surprised that she couldn’t smell Marmalade. As we learned, Marmalade was being transferred to Enclosure #4.
The gate between the rooms of Hartley House was closed, preventing the cubs from leaving this room.
The two cubs took a nap together on the bed.
All at once they noticed that the other gate was open, leading out.
Aralia headed for the newly opened doorway. (The toy bears seem to be relieved, and who can blame them?) Note the tool that was used to encourage Aralia to move out. It is self explanatory, we think.
Clover followed Aralia, much to the delight of the toy bear companions.
Clover entered the Acclimation Pen. She weighs 73 pounds now.
She saw the gate open to the Wild Enclosure, and headed straight for it.
Soon she stepped out into Wild Enclosure #4.
After her long recuperation, Clover is outside again!
Aralia peeked out into the Acclimation Pen. Remember, she was very stressed the last time she was in such a pen, which was why she ended up with Clover in Hartley House. What will she do this time?
She dashed! Faster than a speeding bullet, she was through the Acclimation Pen and out into the enclosure! (By the way, she weighed 79 pounds).
So now, just as they become yearlings, all three of the bears are together in the newly upgraded Wild Enclosure #4! Happy Birthday to all three of these girls, and to the rest of the ABR cubs who were released.

Another ABR year is almost over, as these three just-turned-one-year-old bears are the last ones left. We’ll see how they work out their social interactions going forward.

It was a very busy day for curators and an exciting one for our three cubs/now yearlings. Everybody moved to new quarters! The curators finished up the work they had been doing on Wild Enclosure #4, to ready it for bears. Marmalade entered Acclimation Pen #1 (with the enticement of sardines in chicken baby food and a honeybun). She was effectively trapped in the pen, where she spent the night on the firehose hammock , ending up inside the culvert den to sleep into the morning.

Marmalade enjoyed the hammock, even managing to take her ball up there.
She explored the upper level of the Acclimation Pen.
She curled up inside of the culvert den and was there well into the morning.

At that point, the curators got her into a transport carrier, and moved her down to the newly- refurbished Wild Enclosure #4. She voiced her displeasure at being moved, protesting loudly with much cubby-cursing.

They were able to weigh her; she weighs 53 pounds. She entered Acclimation Pen #4 and looked around.
But not for long – in no time, she was dashing out the gate into Wild Enclosure #4, and up the nearest tree.
Off she goes!

Our next post will tell you how the other two cubs (now yearlings) were transferred to the wild enclosure. Don’t miss it!

Although Marmalade Bear is alone in her Wild Enclosure, it doesn’t upset her a bit. She often preferred her own company, even when the enclosure was shared with six other cubs. So now, she has the run of the place, with no one to bother her, and she takes full advantage of her freedom.

She forages when and where she wants to, and doesn’t have to share.
She went into the Acclimation Pen to have her breakfast.
After breakfast, she heads over to explore the culvert den.
She goes into the den. It’s not crowded like it was when all seven cubs were crammed inside!
Marmalade doesn’t stay in the den for long. She’s an active little cub, and soon she’s out, trotting through the enclosure. She will travel from one end to the other, possibly stopping to say “hello” to Clover and Aralia through the Visiting Vents on the Hartley House.
Clover and Aralia are giving the two toy bears a reprieve from the constant pestering.

The three cubs are doing well, if Aralia can put up with Clover, who doesn’t want to leave her alone. Clover has always been a social cub, and after this time in the Hartley House with no companions but the toy bears, she has wanted to interact with Aralia constantly. What’s next? Stay tuned.

We’ve watched the cub population diminish recently, as bears were released back to their wild homes in Kentucky and Tennessee. Now, there are just three cubs remaining, two Kentucky cubs and one Tennessee cub from the northeast corner of the state.

Clover Bear, from KY, was destined to spend the winter at ABR, due to the problems with her leg and foot that required her to return to the University of Tennessee vet school a couple of times. Although the infection that was treated with antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medication has greatly improved, she still appears to limp occasionally.

Marmalade is another KY bear. She was the smallest cub in residence, and it seemed that she would be a good companion for Clover, so the plan was for the two of them to remain.

Aralia is from a county in the farthest northeastern county of Tennessee. She was in an Acclimation Pen, in preparation for her workup and release, but she became so stressed by the confinement and the fact that she could see the Wild Enclosure but was unable to get out of the pen, that she was brought into the Hartley House. Although this seems counter-intuitive because Aralia is now more confined than she was before, Clover’s presence and the chasing and playing that she initiated has seemed to alleviate the stress.

Marmalade, alone in the enclosure, has stacks of fragrant Christmas trees in which to hide and play.
She is comfortable with going in and out of the Acclimation Pen. She entered to eat her breakfast this day.
Clover and Aralia have been chasing each other and playing. The toy bear (Not Clover, you may recall) has taken a beating, leaving it Exhausted!

We have been experiencing difficulties with the computer, and apologize for missing recent posts. Hopefully our computer will behave and we will be able to keep up a regular schedule.

We greatly appreciate the TWRA officers, David Sexton and Scott Reasor, who shot video footage at the release site for the Rainbow Triplets. The cubs were so quick that we are posting some still photos taken from the video. Otherwise, you might miss the drama!

Indigo was the first to leave the transport carrier.

He’s in there, but we can’t see him quite yet…….
Here he comes!
And there he goes!

Lavender’s turn is next.

Lavender was anxious to get on her way.
She didn’t hesitate to jump down from the truck.
And off she goes – good luck, Lavender!

Triplet #3, Juniper, the largest of the trio, is next.

The third Triplet, Juniper, is ready to go.
He exits with a mighty leap.
Go, Juniper! Have a happy life in the wild!

With the release of the Rainbow Triplets, the ABR population is down to three cubs – Clover, Marmalade, and Aralia. Clover and Marmalade were scheduled to stay the winter; Aralia joined Clover in the Hartley House after she was very stressed in the Acclimation Pen, where she could see, hear, and smell the outdoors but was prevented from being there. We shall see how the situation develops going forward.

In our last post we reminisced about Juniper, Indigo, and Lavender, aka the Rainbow Triplets and recalled their lives, adventures and shenanigans during their 5 months at ABR. Today we’ll show the workups of the cubs, who went through the final stages of the process one at a time on January 12th. First up was Juniper.

Juniper goes to the release staging ares, where all is in readiness.
As always, the eyes are covered to prevent drying out, since immobilized bears can’t blink.
Curator Matthew measures the big cub.
Juniper weighed a whopping 123.8 pounds! A big bear!
A big foot for a big bear.
Curator Tom takes a print of Juniper’s foot. This is the last step before he is loaded into the transport carrier.

Next to the release staging area is brother Indigo.

He’s a big cub, too. As big as Juniper? We’ll see….
Indigo was chilled, so a warming pad was applied to heat his body.
Blood samples were taken for the record.
Indigo was almost as big as his brother at 122 pounds.
Just like his brother, Indigo has a good set of teeth.
And he, too, has a big foot to take him into the wild.
A footprint is taken.
Into the transport carrier he goes.
When he is awake, he’ll be ready to leave, but the Triplets were to be released together, as siblings usually are.

The last of the triplets is the female, Lavender.

Lavender is carried to the staging area.
Curator Janet holds Lavender’s head to stabilize it.
Not surprisingly, Lavender was not as heavy as her brothers. She weighed 102.2, a very healthy weight for a female cub who is almost a yearling now.
Another healthy mouth with a good set of teeth.
Lavender’s foot is bigger than Curator Janet’s hand!
Curator Tom takes Lavender’s footprint.
Lavender is carried out to the transport carrier. Time to go!
In the transport carrier, Lavender wakes up. She is ready to go home!

The Rainbow Triplets were ready to leave ABR. They had a good stay and have thrived under our care. We wish them healthy, happy, and safe lives back in the wild where they belong. Remember, Triplets, stay away from humans and anything human-related! Good-bye and good luck!

The rambunctious Rainbow Triplets (Juniper, Indigo, and Lavender) were released back into the wild on January 12th, after almost six months at ABR. They were orphaned in August, at the age of 7 months, and were very healthy, but were too young to live on their own. The two males, Juniper and Indigo, were rescued quickly, but their sister Lavender evaded capture for a couple of days. Nicknamed for colors, they soon became the Rainbow Triplets.

We have lots of photos of the three bears, so we will present the “remember when” pictures in today’s post, and the workup for release pictures next time.

Pictures of the Rainbow Triplets when they first arrived at ABR.
They were able to go into a Wild Enclosure of their own very soon. Juniper assumed his Meerkat pose as he left the Acclimation Pen.
He showed his skill at tree climbing.
He posed by a tree, ready to climb.
He grew and became too large to soak in the drinking tub.
Juniper’s brother Indigo was captured in this trap to be transported to ABR.
Indigo was happy to enter the Wild Enclosure.
He enjoyed the Cubby Pool and shook vigorously when he emerged from his swim.
Indigo was a skilled tree-climber, just like his brother.
The two boys loved to wrestle, whether on the ground or up on the Tire Bridge.
As time passed, Indigo became a handsome young bear.
The elusive triplet, Lavender before her rescue.

In the Acclimation Pen, Lavender proved that she, too, was a healthy cub, skilled at climbing.
Lavender was glad to join her brothers in the Wild Enclosure.
They were an active and rowdy trio, and enjoyed their invented games.
Lavender was a cub with a pretty and feminine face.
They usually slept together on their resting platform.
Lavender was growing. She is a bigger cub.
They are big little bears now. It’s time for them to go home to the wild.

The Rainbow Triplets have had a good life at ABR. They thrived and have grown. In our next post we will review the events of January 12 and how they were prepared for their return to the wild.

Yesterday we wrote about Dumplin’ Bear and his preparation for release. Today we’ll talk about the two girls who were released at the same time – Tweetsie (Dumplin’s sister) and Sassafras.

Tweetsie was rescued two days after her brother, on May 6th. She weighed half a pound more, at 6.5 pounds.
She had to return to the UT Vet school because of low blood sugar.
Back at ABR, Tweetsie was cared for by Mary Crawley Cowe in Hartley House.
Soon she was reunited with her brother and his new friend, Ferdinand. Shenanigans ensued.
They became good friends.
Into the Wild Enclosure they went!
Three little cubs in the Wild Enclosure.
Tweetsie was thriving.
She made friends with other cubs, like Ferdinand.
She walked down the safety log for a sip of Cubby Broth in the pool.
Tweetsie was ready to go home.
Tweetsie was carried to the staging area.
She weighed 72.4 pounds! A healthy cub!
Measurements were taken.
Tweetsie was carried out to her carrier.
Sassafras Bear arrived in June, weighing 10.4 pounds
She made her debut in the Wild Enclosure.
Sassafras enjoyed a drink from the Cubby Pool.
Sassafras was very relaxed.
She went bobbing for an apple in the pool.
She might have been giving herself a pedicure, or she might have been playing at being shy.
Sassafras had grown – it was time for her to go home.
She weighed a healthy 75.4 pounds!
To keep her temperature down, the curators used bags of frozen berries.
Her eyes were covered, because immobilized bears can’t blink.
Sassafras is a pretty bear.
Sassafras was ready to return to her home in the wild.
She is carried to her transport carrier. Good bye, Sassafras.

It’s a long post, but we wanted to share the event with you. Three more ABR cubs are now back home in the wild, where they belong. Good luck and good health, and as we always say, please keep away from humans, their homes, and their vehicles! Stay safe, and run free, little bears!

The ABR cubs of 2020 are being released! As you know, siblings are released together, and all cubs are released as near as possible to the places where they were found, because bears, even cubs, have an incredible homing instinct.

On January 7, 2021, Dumplin’, Tweetsie, and Sassafras Bear were taken back to their home ranges. Today we’ll focus on Dumplin’ Bear.

When he arrived on May 6th of 2020, Dumplin’ was about 3 months old and weighed just 6 pounds.
The vets at UTCVM found him to be basically healthy.
He was introduced to Ferdinand in the Hartley House.
Two days later, Dumplin’s sister, Tweetsie joined the cubs. The three of them were outside in Wild Enclosure #1.
Dumplin’ went into the Cubby Pool, by accident (or on purpose, we don’t know).
The little cub was growing!
Dumplin’ was a relaxed cub.
The three cubs were a busy group.
Bear cubs grow fast! Dumplin’ was about ready for release. As you know, Ferdinand was released a few days earlier.
A trio of bigger bears – Ferdinand and the two siblings.
Dumplin’ was weighed – he is 86.6 pounds now!
Look at his big paw!
Curators Janet and Tom take a footprint.
Dumplin’ has a healthy mouth with nice, strong teeth.
Ready to go home, Dumplin’ is in the transport carrier.

Next up will be Dumplin’s sister, Tweetsie Bear. Watch for her in our next post.

Today we have some images to share that were taken from a short video sent to us by the Kentucky wildlife officers. They took these as the cubs were released in their home state. It had snowed there, too. Fortunately, our cubs had experienced snow so it wasn’t completely foreign to them.

First, we see Harlan – but you have to look carefully. He exited the transport carrier and was off so fast he was a blur!

Harlan wasted no time getting away from the truck.
He was off and running through the woods!

Ferdinand wasn’t quite so fast, but remember that he was our first cub, having arrived in April. He had scarcely known any life before ABR.

Ferdinand hesitated. He may have wondered where he was and why.
But it didn’t take long for him to jump down and run away.
Up a tree he went, reminding everyone of the first photo before his rescue, when a much smaller Ferdinand was clinging to a tree, surrounded by a herd of cows

We wish both of the Kentucky boys healthy, long lives in the wild. Please stay away from roads, cars, and humans!