As you may recall, ABR has chosen January 22 as the “official birthday” of all of the bear cubs and yearlings that come to us for care.  This means that our current resident, the injured yearling #267, April Bear, is now fifteen months old!  We have a photo taken by Curator David, who peeked around the corner of the Red Roof Recovery Center to snap this picture while April was outside in her outdoor pen.  The bald patch on her face that was the result of mites according to the UT vets is improving and April is becoming more active.  Soon she will be in a larger Acclimation Pen without the lowered ceiling to restrict her climbing.


April Bear is healing and getting stronger.

Happy Birthday, April Bear, and happy birthday to all of our former residents in the wild!

April Bear is really enjoying the ball that Curator Tom brought to her.  She plays with it quite a bit.  Today we have a photo taken rather late in the evening.  She’s almost ready to go to sleep, and her ball is right beside her.


April Bear playing with her ball. Time for bed, April Bear!

It’s important for an animal in a captive situation, as April is for the time being, to have enrichment activities to prevent boredom and frustration.  The ball seems to be a good enrichment item for our April Bear!

As you know, the curators usually provide a stuffed toy companion to tiny cubs,, but since April Bear is a yearling, they did not give one to her.  That was probably a smart decision, given the fact that she destroyed two or three beds, trying to make them suit her.  But April is a young bear, and Curator Tom decided to bring her a different plaything.  He brought a ten inch “Horseman’s Pride” ball, touted as being suitable for average sized horses.  In other words, it is sturdy and won’t pop easily.  Today we see how she reacted to her new toy.


April Bear eating breakfast. There is the ball, on her bed.


April checks out the ball. She brought a pear to her bed – maybe for the ball?


April pokes at the ball.


April gets on top of the ball. Good thing it’s sturdy!


April lies down next to the ball.

The ball seems to be a hit with our little bear.  She didn’t need a stuffed toy, but a sturdy ball is just the thing to keep her from getting bored while in recovery.


The cams that ABR installed thanks to a grant from Lush Cosmetics allow the curators to monitor the activities of our injured yearling, April Bear.  As a bonus, we get to see the images as well.  Today we have a series of images from early afternoon into evening that show us what the little bear is up to.

She dumped the contents of her food dish onto her bed!


April plays with her lettuce. it’s not her favorite food.


Tiring of the lettuce, April strolls out the door into her outdoor pen or “patio.”


Here she comes. After time outside, April comes back in.


April has a snack and drink.


Enough time indoors – out she goes again.

April Bear spends more and more time outside.  She seems to be healing well and doesn’t appear to be in pain.  This is good news.

Our injured yearling, #267 (April Bear) has adjusted well to her situation at ABR.  The curators report that she has finished her meds and they are leaving the door to her outside Acclimation Pen open all the time, so she can come and go as she wishes, day or night.

These photos show her activities in the evening, at dinner time.  She spends most of her time outside, but comes in to sleep on her bed that she keeps rearranging.  At least she’s not tearing it up any longer.


This photo demonstrates how the lowered ceiling works. April can’t climb, so she’s able to heal.


April came in briefly to eat her dinner. Note the door to outside is still open as it gets darker.


After a few minutes, April returned to the outside pen.

The curators are glad that April Bear is recovering well.  They have noticed that even her alopecia (hair loss) has started to clear up and her facial fur is coming back.

The injured yearling bear, nicknamed April, has been at ABR for almost a week now, and is making progress toward recovery.  She has demonstrated a preference for being outside in her Acclimation Pen that is attached to the recovery center.  She has managed to tear up about 3 beds, but this could be just the natural bed preparation that bears do in the wild, as they paw leaves and sticks to make a bed.

One of the curators got a photo of April Bear while she was outside in the outdoor pen.  She is looking out with a somewhat wistful expression.  Her alopecia seems to be responding to the treatment given to her by the vets at UT.


April Bear looks through an opening in the outdoor pen.

She enjoys her honey logs!


April has a honey log inside and another one outside. Yum!

At the end of a busy day, April Bear sleeps on her new bed.


April Bear on her bed, seen through the lens of the camera above.

We are glad that the little yearling is responding to treatment.  She has a good appetite and is eliminating waste properly.  These are good signs and make the curators happy.

Our first bear of 2018, nicknamed April, was hit by a car on the spur road through the park and suffered broken ribs.  The vets at the UT College of Veterinary Medicine sent her to ABR to rest and recover from her injuries.

Thanks to the newly installed cameras (thanks to a grant from Lush Cosmetics) there is a camera in the Red Roof Recovery Center, where April is currently housed.  The pens here have adjustable ceilings, so an injured bear can be prevented from climbing.  The only problem with the camera is that it shoots down from above, so the top of the pen is in the way.  But here are photos taken by the camera that show April Bear on her bed and heading out the door into the attached Acclimation Pen.


April Bear napping, with her face toward the open door.


April gets up and wanders outside. The Acclimation Pen has a lowered ceiling, too.


April rolled her honey log onto her bed.

We guess she likes to eat in bed.  Not a bad idea for a little bear recovering from an injury!