The cubs and yearlings at ABR are working on getting chubby so they can be released back into the wild. At least, that’s the purpose of all the food provided for them. They just love to eat, like all good bears, so they are cooperative. Recently, volunteers and board members have been out picking apples and blueberries to fill the tummies of the bears. Here are photos that show how the bears are doing.

But first, we’ll take a look at the cubs in Wild Enclosure #2, who are curious about the new bear (#317, Boomer) who arrived in Acclimation Pen #2 a few days ago.

The cubs approached the Acclimation Pen to check the new guy out.
Boomer stands up to “greet” them, but they scurried away.
The cubs climbed a tree where they could look down at the Acclimation Pen.
Our newest arrival, #319, Augustus the yearling, is in Acclimation Pen #4. Note the bountiful quantity of apples for him.
In the Hartley House, little Marmalade Bear likes the blueberries that she has to eat.
Clover Bear, who has not fully integrated into her group as yet, gets ready to go down to forage for the yummy fruits.
She is doing well, but it will be better when she joins the others for group activities.
Harlan takes a drink from the Cubby Pool. Soon he’ll be bobbing for the apples that are floating on the other side.
Sparks Bear is a fine example of what chubbifying looks like. He has been with us since May and has gained a good amount of weight.
Yearling Mulberry hasn’t been at ABR that long. He has some chubbifying to do!

To give you a better idea of which bears are where at ABR, here is a chart:

It also helps with I.D., since the chart lists the ear tag colors for each cub and yearling.

It won’t be long now before all of our cubs and yearlings will be out in their Wild Enclosures. We’ll have to update the chart at that time. Stick around.

We’ve been updating you on the bears at ABR, and in this post we continue to do that.

Harlan is halfway across the Tire Bridge. Is he going to finish crossing, or take a nap?
Harlan at the Cubby Pool. He really likes the water.
Looks like he went into the pool. He comes out dripping wet.
Sassafras peeks around the tree. What a cutie!
Clover Bear doesn’t show herself very often, but here she is in a tree.
Clover came down to the platform, giving us the chance to see her better.
Tweetsie relaxes on the platform. She has grown since her arrival.
Boomer Bear in his Acclimation Pen. He will be released into the Wild Enclosure soon, and it can’t be too soon for him!
Mulberry is one of the yearling bears at ABR.
Mulberry climbs a tree in his enclosure.
Sparks, another yearling, has been with us since May. He has chubbified nicely.
In Hartley House, Marmalade Bear, our newest cub, plays with her bowl. We think she may be asking for more food.

So there you have it – the bear updates for now. As you can plainly see, all of the cubs and yearlings are doing well and working at their main job, which is to chubbify and get ready to return to the wild.

We promised to update you on the rest of the cubs at ABR, after the arrival of the new yearling, Augustus Bear. So here goes – First up is Wild Enclosure #1, which now is home to 6 cubs. We showcase two of them here, and will continue in our next post.

In Enclosure #1, we have Dumplin’ Bear. He is doing well.
Dumplin’ is on the platform.
He settles down for a rest.
Dumplin’ sprawls on the platform.
Ferdinand is another resident of Enclosure #1. He gets a drink from the pool.
Ferdinand forages.

There are four more cubs in Wild Enclosure #1, plus all the rest in the other enclosure and in the Hartley House. Stay tuned.

Yes, this is definitely a busy year for ABR! On Friday August 7th a ranger from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (who was actually an ABR Curator for a short time) brought in an underweight yearling bear. The male bear was taken to the UT College of Veterinary Medicine and found to be reasonably healthy, but weighing just 29 pounds, a low weight for a bear who is a year and a half old. Augustus Bear is in Acclimation Pen #4, taking the usual de-worming medicine. He is our third yearling – along with Sparks and Mulberry. All three of them will be released when the natural foods in the area are sufficient.

Ranger Greg brings Bear #319 to ABR. UT vets perform his initial examination.

Now ABR is caring for 14 six-month-old cubs and 3 eighteen-month-old yearling bears. Watch this space for more developments and for updates on all the residents.

After the departure of Chicory Bear, Clover, was let out of the Hartley House into Acclimation Pen #1. Then the curators decided that it was time to let her out into Wild Enclosure #1. Here is how that went.

Clover stuck her nose out of the gate and decided to stay put in the Acclimation Pen.
She went back up to the platform, then came down to take a bath.
Clover sat in the pool and looked out into the enclosure.
She went back up to the platform, and the gate was opened again.
Clover took her time, then plastered herself against the closest tree.
She climbed the tree as fast as she could and stayed there for the rest of the day.
In the wee small hours of the morning, Clover came down to check out her new digs.
Boomer Bear sits on his platform, looking out into the Wild Enclosure. The curators are watching his muzzle, where he was stung by a bee. They want to be sure he’s OK.
Our newest cub, Marmalade Bear, is the sole occupant of the Hartley House now.

All is well with the newest cubs. Everyone is doing well. Soon, Clover will get acquainted with the other cubs in Enclosure #1, and as soon as Boomer is out into the Wild Enclosure Marmalade will be in the Acclimation Pen. Lots of cub-moving!

The ABR cubs, having been orphaned, don’t have mother bears around to teach them or tell them what to do and not do. However, since they have all the information about being a bear in their innate makeup, they do very well, learning as they go along and interacting with other cubs. In other words. they self-teach and teach each other.

Two of the cubs in Wild Enclosure #1 drink from their Cubby Pool. On recent hot days they have used the pool a lot. Smart bears!
Three cubs in Wild Enclosure #2. Note: that’s not Ferdinand, it is probably Flicker Bear.
Where did everybody go? Downy is left alone in the pool.
Back in Enclosure #1, Tweetsie, relaxing, shows off her round tummy. Good bear!
Now Downy sits on top of the Culvert Den.
Wonder what has attracted Firefly’s attention. She sniffs the air, getting information about . . . something.
Sparks Bear enjoying his pool. Note the safety log and cinder block that he removed from the pool. Bears are strong – even yearling bears!
Sparks finds apples in his pool. Yum!
Firefly and Sunflower are having a serious conversation, or so it appears.
Downy is completely relaxed as she reclines on the ground.

All is well with the ABR bears. They are doing what bear cubs do, and learning from each other.

ABR – specifically, Curator Janet and our newest cub, Marmalade Bear, were featured in a newspaper article in the DAILY TIMES, the local paper for Maryville, TN. Here is a link to the article:

It was a rainy day, and the only bears in view were a couple of the cubs in Wild Enclosure #1. The others were hidden in underbrush or up trees.

Tweetsie is very relaxed on the platform.
She strikes a pose that reminds us of pinups from long ago.
Tweetsie and Ferdinand hang out near to each other.
Tweetsie is a pretty little bear, even when she’s wet from the rain.
Tweetsie and her friend take a snooze together.
Tweetsie reclines, looking as if she’s watching a TV show.
Ferdinand attacks a sapling and proceeds to murdalize it.
Uh-oh! The sapling dumped Ferdinand in the grass!

We’re glad that Tweetsie and Ferdinand cooperated and appeared for the camera in their enclosure. Maybe we’ll catch a glimpse of some of the others next time.

On the morning of July 31st, Kentucky Wildlife Officer Tristan Curry brought another orphaned cub to ABR for care. The little female was the only one in her family to survive after a car killed her mother and three siblings.Bear #318 is nicknamed Marmalade Bear and her exam at UTCVM was good. X-rays didn’t reveal any broken bones or other, unseen injuries. She is small, weighing just 10.6 pounds, but her mother was feeding four cubs, so that is not surprising.

Marmalade is in the Hartley House, taking worm meds, and will soon be out in a Wild Enclosure.

Marmalade arrived in a transport carrier.

It’s hard to keep track, but as of now ABR is caring for fourteen cubs and two yearlings! All of these bears are doing well. Stay tuned.

The six cubs in Wild Enclosure #2 can choose where they want to sleep. They have the entire enclosure, including the trees at their disposal. On a recent night, though, they all slept on the platform, in a cubby line.

There they are, like a big cubby slumber party. Your guess is as good as ours who’s who, except for Sunflower Bear, who is recognized by her missing ear.
They shift positions (like we do) and just after 5 in the morning, one cub decides s/he has had enough.
Instead of a clearly defined line of 5 cubs, we seem to have a large number of cubby parts.
The cubs start to rouse, including the one whose feet are dangling from the hammock.
It’s time to get started. They go down to begin their day.
We take a quick peek at Wild Enclosure #4, where Mulberry (yearling) is resting in the same spot where Sparks (yearling) was always seen.

The residents of Enclosure #1 (Ferdinand, Tweetsie, and Dumplin’) have been hidden recently, choosing to spend their time in the underbrush or high in trees, out of the reach of cameras. We’ll have more news of other bears soon.