Our wonderful curators are very inventive in their ability to capture photos of Bennie, Jerry, and Carrie even though the threesome is in the Wild Enclosure where they can’t see their human caretakers.  Here are some great pictures of cubs using their tree-climbing skills.  They are very much at home in the trees, just as wild bears are, wherever they may live.  Climbing a tree on command (command is a grunt) from Mama Bear is one of the first things cubs learn in spring.  Our cubs, as you know, didn’t receive their mother’s all-important teaching, but as we can see from these photos, the tree-climbing is innate.  They didn’t really need to be taught.  When they encountered trees, they climbed easily.

Bennie and sapling

Bennie Bear with sapling

Bennie climbs

Bennie starts to climb.  Jerry is above him.

Jerry Bear in tree

Jerry stays put and keeps an eye on his brother.

Bennie sits on branch

Bennie sits and waits.

Bennie on branch

He looks around.

Bennie changes position

A shift in position.

Bennie changes position again.

Another shift. Maybe it is getting uncomfortable?

Bennie climbs down

Since Jerry isn’t moving, Bennie climbs down.

Jerry seemed to be playing “king of the hill,” in this case, “king of the tree.”  Bears, like many other animals, have a dominance hierarchy.  Jerry seems to be asserting himself in this scenario.  But next time it may be Bennie who “wins,” and don’t forget their sister, Carrie, who often is the dominant force.  The cubs are learning.