In the last post we reminded you of how very small the two cubs were just a few months ago when they arrived at ABR.  In this post we will share the photos from their release day – September 9, 2015.  They had been at ABR for 5 months, and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission officers decided that it was time to take them back to NC.

To prepare, on the evening of September 8th they were enticed into the acclimation pen with treats.  They were to spend the night there, in a more confined space.

In acclimation pen

They followed the treats into the acclimation pen.

In the morning, they were sedated so they could be worked up.

Moving Ridgeway

Wildlife officers and curators moved Ridgeway to workup area.

The cubs were weighed and measured.  Bonnie Blue weighed 61 pounds; Ridgeway weighed 57.5 pounds!  Quite an impressive weight gain for each of them.

Weighing a cub.

Weighing a cub.

Measuring a cub.

Measuring a cub.

Curator Janet recorded all the data for the wildlife officers as well as for ABR.

Recording the data

Curator Janet recorded the data.

The cubs were loaded into a transport carrier and onto the NCWRC truck.


The cubs were placed in a large carrier.

Onto the truck it goes.  The officers secure it in place while the curators watch.

On the truck

The cubs are ready for their ride.

The truck carrying the cubs drives out the gate.

Off to NC

Off they go to North Carolina!

Here are a couple of recent photos of Bonnie Blue and Ridgeway that are among our favorites.

Swimming in pool

Bonnie Blue and Ridgeway enjoyed the Cubby pool.


A favorite portrait of the brother and sister.

As is always the case, when cubs depart it is bittersweet.  We have accomplished our mission and they will have their second chance to be wild bears, but there is a tinge of sadness in seeing them go.  We wish them long, happy and healthy lives in the wild!