Curator Janet was trapped in the observation tower a couple of days ago when a typical summer downpour occurred just after she had thrown food over the fence to the cubs in the Wild Enclosure.  She took advantage of her entrapment by filming Finnegan, Andy and Eliza as they eagerly consumed some of the fruits.  You will hear how hard it was raining, and you’ll see how that bothers the cubs not a bit – they are too busy filling their tummies!  Bears don’t mind the rain because their outer guard hairs act like a raincoat, repelling water from the sky or water from a swim.  Like dogs, they just shake off and are ready to go.

Interesting to see is the fact that Andy is eating standing up against a tree, as he did the other day.  This time his sister Eliza is doing so as well, but she has climbed up the tree and is sitting on a branch while she holds her pear against the tree.  Finnegan is more of a traditionalist – he eats his pear on the ground.

You will also see two of the cubs climbing the tree and being playful while doing so.  Just click to see this entertaining video of the three cubs.

Curator Coy has been busy filming the cubs recently.  Today we have a couple of new videos for your viewing pleasure.  The first one is a “Happy Birthday” video of the three cubs on a typical day in the Wild Enclosure.  In case you’re wondering why it’s a “Happy Birthday,” it was filmed on the cubs’ presumed seven-month-old birthday.  We have mentioned before that ABR has chosen January 22nd as the official birthday of our cubs. This date falls in the middle of the range of dates when all black bear cubs are born. So here are the cubs on their seven-month-old birthday.  Even though they don’t realize it, it’s a big day for them!   Click here to see the cubs on their big day.  They are growing and are even oblivious to the crows now that they are so big!

The second video was filmed a couple of days earlier and shows how Finnegan and Eliza negotiate tree climbing when they were both climbing in the same tree and had to pass each other.  If they weren’t friends it could have led to an argument and to one bear preventing the other from going up or down.  But since they are comfortable with each other, you’ll see that they work things out very amicably.  Click here to see Eliza and Finnegan climbing around each other.

We are happy to report that the three cubs – Finnegan, Andy and Eliza Bear – are all thriving  at ABR.  They are eating well and the curators are very pleased with their progress.  We have new photos of the three of them in their Wild Enclosure today.  It has cooled by a few degrees, and we’re sure the cubs are enjoying that fact (so are we!)  Soon the annual feeding frenzy for bears, known by the scientific term of hyperphagia, will cause our little bears to dramatically increase their food intake.  However, it hasn’t happened as yet.  For now, we are just glad that the cubs are getting along so well with each other.

Andy

Andy Bear is foraging in the underbrush, where he knows he’ll find food.

Eliza

Eliza Bear is climbing down from her tree to forage along with Andy.

Finnegan

Finnegan Bear stalks through the tall grass in search of tasty morsels.

We’re sure you will agree that the cubs are looking very healthy.  Their fur is smooth and shiny, their eyes are bright and they certainly like to eat.  And after all, eating is their most important job while they are at ABR.

As promised, we have links to three new videos of the ABR cubs.  The first one shows Andy Bear as he eats a pear while standing up, in essence using the tree trunk as his plate.  Click here to watch this very original and unique eating method.  We don’t think we’ll try it, but it certainly works well for Andy Bear!

Remember when the crows were scaring our cubs.  Eliza Bear, in particular seemed to be very frightened by the raucous birds, and scurried up a tree.  No more!  This next video shows the newly brave Eliza going about the business of eating even though the crows are back!  This link will take you to the video of Eliza, crows, and pears.

Finally, we have a video that Curator Coy took when he saw Finnegan Bear trying to pick nuts from the hickory tree.  Adult bears do eat the nuts but their extra hard shells make them impossible for cubs to eat.  However, the fact that Finnegan is trying to harvest them indicates that he instinctively knows they are “bear food.”  Click here to see our smart little bear going for the nuts.

 

We must apologize for the long delay in posting.  Computer and web issues were to blame.

We have some photos of the cubs today, and later in the day we’ll post links to 3 new  videos on YouTube.  Hope that will make up for the days without posts.

The three cubs are still sharing the hickory tree that has been their favorite for quite some time now.  We find it interesting that with all the trees in the Wild Enclosure they have all chosen this particular hickory tree in which to rest and sleep.  We’ll never know what guides their decisions, but they seem happy with sharing the tree, and that’s what counts!

Eliza

Eliza Bear on her perch in the hickory tree.

Eliza and Finn

Eliza and Finnegan. Finn started to climb down to forage; Eliza watched him.

Andy and Eliza

Andy appeared to forage with Eliza. Finn went off to a different spot.

We want to show you the lovely note cards that Townsend artist, Lois Alexander, has designed for us to sell in the ABR online store.  You can find out more here:

note card

ABR note cards feature artwork by Townsend artist, Lois Alexander, of Summer Bear, a cub from last year.

We hope that we’ll be able to continue posting without interruptions.  Later today we’ll post the links to those YouTube videos.  Thank you for your patience.

 

 

If you remember, a couple of weeks ago, the cubs (particularly Eliza) were frightened by the flock of noisy crows that came to steal some of their food.  When the crows flew in, cawing, the cubs made for the safety of the trees.  Curator Coy installed a “fake, dead crow” that he was told might frighten the crows away.  It seemed to work, and a week or more had gone by with no crow visits.  That peace and quiet ended when a couple of the black birds returned, but Coy took these photos that show how much braver the cubs are now.  The crows did not scare them at all.  Maybe they have figured out that they are bigger than the crows – and maybe it’s just a matter of them growing up a bit and developing more courage.  Here are the photos that show the newly brave cubs.

Crow

The first photo shows the fake, dead crow and one of the returning live crows.

Looks like the crows have become accustomed to the “dead” crow and are not bothered by it any more.

Andy and Eliza

Andy and Eliza came down to forage in spite of the crow.

Eliza

Brave Eliza Bear – the crow did not frighten her into climbing a tree!

Finnegan and Eliza

Finnegan came down to join Eliza in foraging.

Finnegan

Finnegan went off to forage in another area. He was not afraid of the crows, either!

We are proud of our brave little bears.  They are growing up, getting bigger, stronger, and more courageous as they learn about other animals in their world.

 

 

Because of the warm days and extremely high humidity  we’ve had some foggy mornings recently.  The Wild Enclosure is at a lower elevation than is the office, Cub Nursery, and other buildings so it is often foggy in the mornings.  Not that the cubs mind – they have no weather preferences that we have seen them display – but sometimes it makes it hard for the curator to see them, let alone take photos when he goes down with their morning meal.  This is how it looked yesterday morning.

Fog

It was hard to see anything in the Wild Enclosure. Almost looks like an underwater scene!

Curator Coy did get a photo of one of the cubs through the fog.

Cub in fog

Which cub is this? Even Coy couldn’t tell.

When the fog burned off a short time later, Andy suddenly appeared.

Andy

Andy Bear appeared when the sun came out.

Eliza

Eliza showed herself on the ground as she began to forage.

Curator Coy was able to get a photo of all three cubs foraging together.

Finn, Andy, Eliza

Finnegan, Andy and Eliza Bear are foraging close together.

He saw Finnegan as the cub was about to find a favorite food – a pear!

Finn-pear

There it is – a juicy pear for Finn!

We are glad that the cubs are getting along so well.  This is especially important for Finnegan, who didn’t have the benefit of other bears in his life before.  He is learning who he is, and learning how to be a bear.

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