In order to eliminate human contact as quickly as possible, the curators decided that the cubs were ready to leave the Cub Nursery and move to the much larger Acclimation Pen.  This is what prompted the decision.  As you can see in the first photo, the two little cubs were eating out of a bowl.  That meant that bottles were no longer needed.

2 cubs eat from bowl

Two cubs eating out of a bowl

Curator Coy loaded the cubs in the crate for the trip down to the Acclimation Pen.  He was able to weigh them and found that Sugar Bear weighs 8.6 pounds and Sweet Pea Bear weighs 9.1 pounds now.  Bear cubs grow rapidly when they are receiving good nutrition.

entrance to pen

Entrance to Acclimation Pen

Coy puts crate up to door of pen

Coy places the crate at the door to the outdoor pen.

As you can see, the door to the pen, as well as the sides of the corridor leading to the pen, are covered to prevent the cubs from seeing the curators.  This means less possibility of them becoming too comfortable with humans.

Crate in new pen.

The crate, with its door open, is inside the new pen.

It didn’t take long for the cubs to come out.  Bear cubs are very curious.  Sugar and Sweet Pea wanted to see their new space.

one cub comes out

One cub comes out.

Two cubs are out.

Two cubs are out.

They look very tiny in the large Acclimation Pen, but the large space will allow them to explore, play, and exercise their muscles.  Their next milestone will be when they are released from this pen into the Wild Enclosure.